New Rules for Keeping Chickens
New rules for keeping chickens and other birds due to a recent avian influenza (aka Bird Flu) with come into effect from 14th December 2020. These new measures have been enforced by the chief veterinary offers in England, Scotland and wales. The new rules to help poultry and other captive birds.
Housing rules will become a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep birds, chickens etc, indoors.
This tough measure of biosecurity is to limit the spread of the disease and hopefully eradicate it.
The new rules are for farms, commercial business and domestic keepers.
From the 14th December 2020, keepers are required to:
- House all poultry and captive birds.
- If the animals are kept in runs, these can be covered with netting or a waterproof covering (such as tarpaulin).
- Thorough cleaning regime such as: Cleaning and disinfecting clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles. This will be before and after you are in contact with chickens or birds.
- The movement of people, vehicles and equipment must be reduced where poultry and birds are kept. This is to minimise the contamination from slurry, manure, vermin control and other products.
- Disinfect and clean all housing and covering at the end of every production cycle.
- Keep clean and fresh disinfectant as the correct concentration for all suitable areas.
- Minimise contact between captive birds, poultry and wild birds. Ensuring water and feed is not accessible to wild birds.
Statements from Public Health England have advised that avian influenza is low risk to human health and food, The virus does not affect the consumption of poultry products and eggs.
Keeps must be vigilant for warning signs of the disease in their poultry or captive birds and even wild birds in the area. Common bird flu symptoms in chickens or captive birds can be:
- Edema in the comb and wattles
- Purple discoloration / cyanosis of the wattles, combs, and legs
- Nasal discharge
- Soft-shelled or misshapen eggs
- Decreased egg production
- Coughing and sneezing
- Lack of coordination
- Swelling of the head, eyelids, wattles, hocks, and comb
- Lack of energy and appetite
- Pinpoint hemorrhages on feet and shanks
- Ruffled feathers