After months of imposed restrictions by Defra due to the avian influenza it looks as though these are to be lifted as of Monday the 15th of May.
Defra has published the following statement on their news page: “Based on the latest risk assessment, the Chief Vet has confirmed that we expect to lift the existing Avian Influenza Prevention Zone on 15 May 2017 and replace it with a new Prevention Zone that will apply only to certain areas of Lancashire, Cumbria and Merseyside. After that date, keepers within the new Prevention Zone covering the districts of Barrow-in-Furness, South Lakeland, Lancaster, Blackpool, Wyre, Fylde, Preston, Sefton, West Lancashire, South Ribble and Chorley will still be required by law to follow specific disease prevention measures to reduce the risk of infection from wild birds; keepers outside the new Prevention Zone should continue to follow industry best practice on biosecurity.”
This means that the strict bio-security measures Defra asked everyone to adhere to will no longer be mandatory. Such requirements as keeping feeders and drinkers inside away from wild birds will no longer be in force; however, it is stressed that all poultry keepers maintain good husbandry and the highest levels of hygiene at all times. Our advice is to regularly clean out your chicken house using Poultry Shield & Diatom. For our wide selection of bedding material, check out our website at www.mantelfarm.co.uk
If you choose to free range chickens, it is always useful to have a bag of mixed corn to hand to encourage them back inside their run at the end of the day. I use it here at Mantel Farm and at home. The reaction I get from the hens whenever I shake some corn in a jug for them is incredibly amusing. They leap and flap for joy at the thought of this treat.
Defra has also announced that it will be lifting the restriction on poultry gatherings. This is great news for those wishing to show poultry or attend poultry exhibitions in England. It also means that we’re able to take our lovely chickens with us to the South of England Show, which we will be attending on the 8th, 9th and 10th of June, so come and say hello!