After many months of patient vigilance, chicken keepers and other poultry keepers everywhere can breathe a little more easily today. It has been announced by Defra that as of Thursday 13th April 2017, all poultry inside the “Higher Risk Areas of England” can once again be allowed outside to roam – chickens free range as nature intended. There remains the need for strict biosecurity measures to be in force, and all poultry gatherings are still banned until further notice, but with fingers (and wings) crossed the scare we have all had since December 2016 is coming to an end.
The decision comes as a result of the latest scientific evidence and veterinary advice because of the changes in the wild bird population. Most migratory birds have now left our shores, and resident wild waterfowl are at their lowest levels and entering the breeding season when they become less likely to move long distances to forage for food.
All poultry keepers must continue to take steps to reduce the risk to their birds, including minimising movement in and out of bird enclosures, cleaning footwear, keeping areas where birds live clean and tidy and feeding birds indoors. This all helps to allow chickens free range privileges.
If you are looking for a new poultry feeder, poultry drinker, or any other items such as perches, dust baths or accessories, our extensive range of poultry equipment products, treatments and tonics has everything you might need.
Our own chickens have reacted to this news extremely positively, taking the opportunity to scratch around in the grass for bugs and insects, to sunbathe in the shelter away from the wind, and to dig their own dust bowls again before gleefully smothering themselves in dry dirt. No longer do they have to pull sad faces when not being allowed outside, nor do we have to feel guilty about keeping them under cover. Two Nera chickens even went on an adventure around the farm, exploring brave new worlds, going where no chicken has gone before… around to the other side of the barn! Chickens free range!