Thursday, 23 February 2017

Jobs to Do Before the Avian Flu Restrictions are Relaxed

If you are lucky enough to live in an area where the Avian Flu restrictions are going to be relaxed after the 28th February then you are probably excited to see your chickens out and about once more. However before you let them run free, there are a few jobs you need to take in hand.

Firstly (and most importantly) are you able to let your hens out or are you still within one of the remaining prevention zones? Check the interactive DEFRA map to see if, come February 28th, your hens are allowed out and what remaining restrictions may apply.

Avian Flu Restrictions & DEFRA
Silver Spangled Hamburg
However, there are still jobs to be done around the hen house, especially after all of our hens have been cooped up for just over two months.

  1. Kill Vermin - With all our hens having been contained for so long the chances of rats and mice being attracted to feeders and spilt feed around your run may have increased. The best solution is to get rid of them. Properly positioned lockable bait boxes are the way forward, keeping wild birds, pets and children safe while disposing of rats and mice. Equally tidying up any loose feed and around feeders (where hens can make a mess) will help deter any further vermin problems. 
  2. Treat the Ground - Even in covered runs the ground is possibly beginning to look "fowl sick" after such an intensive couple of months. If letting your hens out into a wider area remove any obvious signs of possible contaminant, then treat the ground with a Ground Sanitising Powder or Virkon-S Disinfectant. This will not only safely guard against Avian Flu, but also aid in more common poultry problems, such as worms. 
  3. Cleaning the Hen House - Similar to treating your poultry run or outside area, your chicken coop will need some maintenance and a thorough deep clean. It is easy when the hens are contained to allow the hen house to get into a bit of a state, but liquid cleaners and Flyte Coop and Run Sanitising Powder should be used to make sure that every nook and cranny of your hen house is clean and hygienic for your hens. 
  4. Feeders & Drinkers - You hens may be heading back outside, however, their feeders and drinkers need to remain covered and out of the way of attracting wild birds. Putting them inside a shelter or under a covered area within a run will help prevent contamination from wild bird faeces or direct contact. 
The last point is to double, triple and quadruple check the interactive map, regarding what restrictions may be being lifted, or remaining in place, in your area. Some areas will still have the Avian Flu restrictions in place, so make sure you understand what your hens are allowed to do. The fines for not following the rules remain in place.

If you are and your chickens are still restricted by the regulations then read our previous blog entry, 6 Top Tips for Surviving Bird Flu, to help you and your hens until the restrictions are lifted. 

If you have any questions why not leave a comment below, or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team. 


Thanks for Reading
James

Friday, 10 February 2017

Plans to Relax the UK’s Avian Flu Housing Restrictions

After 28th February keeping your poultry housed will no longer be mandatory and only if your birds are located outside The High Risk Areas.

With the Bird Flu Prevention Zone Measures due to expire on 28th February and the need for clarification regarding the UK’s Free-Range bird status, DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) have recently issued their proposals to lift the housing order from the end of February in some areas.

Flyte so Fancy Chicken Blog
Stepping out
As poultry keepers ourselves we understand that the welfare of your flock is a priority and this is the news that all of our bored poultry have been waiting to hear! But wait. There are some preparations you need to make.

1.  Search the DEFRA Avian Flu Risk map

To identify the risk of Avian Flu to your flock, DEFRA have created an interactive map which defines the Higher Risk Areas in England See the Interactive Map here to find out if you fall within any restriction zones imposed by DEFRA.

2.  Identify the risk to your flock

The Protection Zone : Controls imposed if you are within a 3km radius exclusion zone around premises affected by confirmed cases of H5N8.
A Surveillance Zone : Restrictions imposed due to being within a10km radius of an affected premises.
Proposed Higher Risk Areas : Generally, these are areas which are near where wild birds (and in particular gulls and wild waterfowl) gather, such as lakes, marshes or estuaries; they include areas where cases of the avian flu H5N8 virus has been found.
Not currently in a Higher Risk Area? : Keep a check on the map as updates may mean that the areas change as new information gets recorded.

3. Choose a housing option most suited to you and your circumstances

Having ascertained which area or zone your flock falls, then all keepers of poultry and captive birds will also need to adopt one of the following three methods of separating their birds from wild birds and in particular from wild waterfowl:

a) Housing: Open to all areas of England / All zones. 
Although it is likely to provide the best protection for your birds from Avian Flu, keeping poultry housed will no longer be mandatory from 28th February. If you continue to keep your birds housed in temporary or permanent accommodation, then bird welfare must be monitored and suitable steps taken to ensure that the environment is suitably enriched –see our earlier blog 6 Top Tips to help your hens survive Bird FluContinued confinement is likely to affect your ‘free-range’ marketing status.

b) Total netting / aviaries / covered runs: Open to all areas of England / All Zones 
Allowing birds outdoors but only into a fenced run which is fully covered. Many of us have favoured this option throughout the Prevention Zone restrictions, keeping our flock separate from wild birds whilst maintaining room to scratch about and avoid boredom. If you have made do with a temporary structure and you are now considering erecting a more permanent solution, see our Poultry Protection Pens for secure and safe poultry runs.

c) Supervised access to enclosed outdoor areas: Only available after 28th February to areas outside the ‘Higher Risk Areas’ after a risk assessment.


There are some restrictions and to take advantage of this option, keepers will need to meet certain conditions. 
  • Areas must be made unattractive to wild birds, for example ponds have been netted, wild bird food sources removed
  • Action must be taken to reduce any existing contamination, such as cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, ensure wet/boggy areas are fenced off
  • Assessments must be made of the risk of birds coming into contact with wild birds or contamination from them.
  • You will need to make sure that outside areas (ranges) are fully fenced and that birds are not allowed to roam outside this fenced area.  This area must not include ponds or other areas of standing water.
  • Where possible, you should not allow domestic ducks or geese to range alongside other types of poultry.  
To see the full measures, see Annex 4 of DEFRA's Planned controls in England from 28 February 2017 here. Anyone planning to allow their birds outdoors from 28 February should begin to prepare now.  

Flyte so Fancy Electric Fencing for Chickens
Electric Fencing is ideal for separating and containing poultry

4. Maintain bio security measures

Irrespective of the number of birds or how they are kept, keepers of poultry and other captive birds must adopt these bio security measures at all times.
  • Take all reasonable precautions to avoid the transfer of contamination between premises, including cleansing and disinfection of paths, equipment, vehicles and footwear, See our DEFRA approved product range of disinfectants here 
  • Reduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry or captive birds are kept; 
  • Ensure feed, water and bedding has not been contaminated by or been in contact with wild birds and in particular gulls and waterfowl; 
  • Implement effective vermin control where poultry or captive birds are kept. See our range of baits and bait boxes here
  • Records must be kept of all vehicles and people that enter the part of a premises where poultry are kept. For sites with over 50 birds, foot dips containing a Defra-approved disinfectant should be used on entry and exit to both houses and outdoor areas/range where the birds are kept.
These measures will provisionally remain in place until the end of April 2017. This approach remains under review and is subject to change, with a final decision being confirmed at the end of February 2017.

If you have any questions why not leave a comment below or phone the FSF Team on 01300 345229. For the most up to date information and downloadable PDF copy of DEFRA's Planned controls in England from 28 February 2017 or for or keepers with over 1,000 birds visit website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#planned-controls-in-england-from-28-february-2017


Thanks for Reading
James

Monday, 30 January 2017

A Photo Tour of the Flyte Aviary 8 Chicken Coop

The Flyte Aviary 8 was designed a few years ago by the Flyte so Fancy workshop to fulfill the needs of a certain group of poultry keepers. Those with unused corners in the garden, or confined by limited in space, in which to keep their chickens.

The Flyte Aviary 8 is so jam-packed with ways to make poultry keeping quick and simple, that this week's Flyte so Fancy Chicken Blog, is a photo blog, highlighting the many clever design features of the hen house.

Flyte so Fancy Chicken Coops

All the access on an Aviary hen house is one side, for both the house and run. This makes the hen house ideal for placing in those dead space corners of the garden, or pushed up against fences and hedgerows. Access into the run is possible through a large door and there is a secondary smaller run door to give entry to the area underneath the raised house.

Easy to clean hen houses

The Aviary hen house comes with a raised living area. Inside the ventilated house area, there are a double rack of raised perches for your hens to sleep on. The whole floor of the hen house doubles as a removable dirt tray, while the large double doors provides full access into the coop, allowing for simple and easy cleaning. The floor is made from resin coated board (as is the roof) making it waterproof, so you can turn the hose on it for washing it off. The large external nestbox provides room for a couple of hens to lay at a time.

Wooden Chicken Coops

One of the most unique features of the Aviary Hen House is its rack of raised day perches. Running the width of the run, they provide somewhere for chickens to perch during the day, doze in the sunshine and have a chat with their chicken buddies. The raised day perches also means that no space is lost on the floor of the coop. Providing a multi-tiered home for your hens.

The Flyte Aviary Hen House is a cleverly designed chicken coop for hen keepers with a paucity of space in their back gardens. Its unique features make it easy to keep and clean, while also being a happy and healthy home for hens.

If you have any questions about the Flyte Aviary you can leave a comment below or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team.


Thanks for Reading
James

Saturday, 21 January 2017

3 Great Poultry Tonics for Chicken Winter Blues

When I started writing this blog at the beginning of the week it was a drab, drizzly, dreary Dorset day. But today it is one of those crisp, winter days where your breathe fogs in front of your face and the countryside glistens with a million tiny ice crystals. Cold weather to warm weather, from grey skies to blue skies, makes tough times for our hens in these depths of winter.

Flyte so Fancy Poultry Supplies
FSF Chickens
With all this cold weather your hens may need a boost to help them through the cold and wet winter. This week's Blog look at three of our best Poultry Tonics for helping your hens through colds, keeping their feathers shiny or for general health and well-being.

  1. Oreganico Poultry Tonic 
    A natural solution of Oregano oils vital for boosting your birds immune system. Its anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties make it great for dealing with chickens colds and sneezes, prevalent at this time of year in chickens and their owners.
    Oreganico Poultry Tonic is incredibly economic, a few drops per litre of water is all that is required for helping combat diseases like Avian Flu, Blackhead, Coccidiosis and more.  
  2. Agrivite Chicken Lickin Enhance Tonic
    An intensive calcium and vitamin D3 liquid supplement for aiding bone strength, egg shell quality and to support feathering. The Vitamin D3 enables the body to absorb the calcium. if your hen is laying weak shelled eggs then Enhance Tonic will help re-stock your hen's calcium levels, thereby solving the issue of weak shelled eggs.
    5ml of Enhance Tonic should be added to each litre of water daily, for a period of one week, to top up your hen's calcium levels. After which the tonic can be given once a week. Effects of the tonic will not be seen immediately, but require time for the tonic to take effect.  
  3. Net-tex Vit-Boost Tonic with added Seaweed
    A complete vitamin and mineral tonic for all birds for maintaining health and well being all year round. The added seaweed aids in the absorption of the many vitamins and minerals, as well as improving yolk colouring. This is a good tonic to give to a hen after a period of stress, to aid in their recovery.
    Add 5ml to 4.5 litres of drinking water for a general tonic. At times of greater stress, add 5ml to a litre of water, to help boost the bird's health.
Winter can be a difficult time for hens. Shorter daylight hours, cold, frosty days and general coughs and sneezes can be a problem; however, these three tonics work incredibly well as general and specific tonics, to keep your hens happy and healthy this winter.

If you have any questions about the best sort of tonics for your hens, why not leave a comment below or call us on 01300 345229, to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team.


Thanks for Reading
James

Friday, 13 January 2017

5 Great Features of the Flyte so Fancy Protection Pens

Whether it is for keeping your hens off the vegetable patch or ensuring they stay safe from marauding foxes, the Flyte so Fancy Protection Pen, provides a secure, walk in run, for your hens to get about the busy work of being a chicken, in peace and quiet.

Walk In Runs for Chickens
Flyte so Fancy Protection Pen
With orders for Protection Pens flying in, this week's Flyte so Fancy Chicken Blog has a look at why they are ideal for so many poultry keepers (and why they are perfect for current Avian Flu restrictions too). 
Flyte so Fancy Protection Pens for Poultry
19 Gauge Weldmest is used on all our runs & pens
  1. SIZE - A strange one to start on perhaps, but as a 6ft 2" poultry keeper, being able to actually stand up right in a poultry run, is a real bonus. The maximum height of the Protection Pen stands at 6ft 6" means you can nip in and out of your run for topping up feed or spending time with your hens, without getting on your hands and knees. 
  2. SPACE - The large spacious area, gives plenty of room for placing perches, activity centres, feeders, drinkers and other things to keep chickens entertained, as they scratch about. 
  3. LENGTH - Not all gardens are the same size and we don't all have the same amount of room for our hens. starting at 9ft long, the protection pens can be increased in 3ft increments, to a maximum length of 24ft, meaning the Protection pen can match any garden size. 
  4. TIMBERS - The framing of the entire Protection Pen is made from sturdy 38 x 38 pressure treated timbers. Once screwed together this framework gives an incredibly sturdy but lightweight structure, strong enough to keep predators out and your girls safe. 
  5. WELDMESH - All of the framework of our Protection Pens is stapled in place with 19 gauge, inch by half inch galvanised weldmesh, so strong you can't bend it with your fingers. This is then covered with a plastic green coating, making the pen un-obtrusive in the surroundings of your garden. 
The Flyte so Fancy Protection Pens can also arrive with helpful additions, such as;
  • Polycarbonate Roofing to keep your hens out of the rain, sleet, snow, and any other weather that can be thrown at us. Fitted by the workshop, if ordered at the same time, the Protection Pen arrives with the roofing already installed. 
  • Handles. For Pens up to 9 x 15, helpful handles can be added to each corner, making it possible for the pen to be lifted and moved to a fresh patch of grass. 
  • Rainshades. If you don't want to cover the whole run roof, but still want to afford your hens some shelter, then our extra large removable Rainshades are ideal. Held in place in each corner by strong bungee ties, the Rainshades offer both shade in the summer and a dry spot from the rain in the winter.
Avian Flu - Regarding the current restrictions imposed by DEFRA, Flyte so Fancy Protection Pens fall within the restrictions of having your birds "inside" if the roof is covered by polycarbonate roofing or a tarpaulin. The welmesh used is small enough to prevent wild birds getting at your hens and as such allows your hens the freedom of "outside" while remaining safe. 

If you have any questions regarding our Protection Pens for Poultry why not leave a comment below, or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team. 


Thanks for Reading
James

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Outbreak of Bird Flu in the UK - Tips for surviving the Bird Flu Rules

With the first case of Avian Flu confirmed on Thursday last week at a farm in Lincolnshire, tighter restrictions are now in place with all gatherings of poultry and captive birds currently banned in Wales. 

After taking some simple measures from our blog Avian Flu - Advice for Poultry Keepers
and the further advice from Chief Veterinary Officer that bio security should never be compromised. The following is a recap of the measures that should be in place and what to look for if you think your birds are sick.


Mother Hen protecting her chicks from Bird Flu

What you need to know about the Avian Flu restrictions

  1. Outbreaks of H5N8 Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) have been confirmed in poultry and wild birds across Europe and one case in the UK.
  2. The Exclusion zone remains in place until 6th January 2017 and may be renewed if the danger has not passed.
  3. All poultry keepers must keep their birds housed and under-cover to minimise risk of infection from wild birds.
  4. This is a precautionary action to help prevent further outbreaks in the UK.
  5. Increased bio security measures should be in place. This includes disinfecting clothing and footwear before and after entering poultry areas e.g. wear disposable gloves/coveralls and add a footbath outside the run area filled with Virkon S disinfectant
  6. Symptoms to look out for: - Swollen head; neck and throat discolouration; loss of appetite; respiratory distress; diarrhoea. If in doubt, call your vet. 
Boredom Buster for hens
Keep your birds occupied and reduce
boredom during the current Bird Flu
restrictions by providing pecking treats

What to do to help your birds survive the Bird Flu rules

  1. Disinfect house and run weekly. Add a footbath.
  2. Use plenty of absorbent bedding to keep birds dry.
  3. Sprinkle BioDri or Stalosan to absorb moisture and sanitise the house. 
  4. Hang boredom busters and pecking blocks to prevent boredom and feather pecking. 
  5. Put a good layer of wood chip in their run, don’t leave them to scratch around on bare earth.
  6. Create an enclosed area and cover roof with tarpaulin, rainshades or large PVC sheets

Bio-Security footbath
Create a simple footbath using a
tub trug and some Virkon S Disinfectant

Bird Flu - Minimising the risk of infection

We list our 6 top buys to survive the bird flu restrictions

To avoid running out of any poultry essentials over the Christmas period, our last order date for guaranteed pre-Christmas deliveries is Wednesday 21st December - Order by midday to avoid disappointment. We will be continuing to dispatch right up until Friday 23rd December, lunch time and we return to FSF HQ on 3rd January.

Rural Affairs Secretary, Lesley Griffiths is encouraging all poultry keepers, including those with fewer than 50 birds to provide details of their flocks to the Poultry Register so they can be contacted immediately in the event of any further avian flu outbreaks and associated restrictions. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/poultry-registration for more information on how you can register.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

6 Top Tips To Help Your Hens Survive The Bird Flu Rules

With the news of the Bird Flu Prevention Zone declared by the Government Chief Veterinary Officer, we thought we could help answer some of the questions you might have. 


Mother Hen protecting her chicks from Bird Flu


After taking some simple measures from last week's blog Avian Flu - Advice for Poultry Keepers, here are our top tips to help you and your poultry survive the remaining days of the bird flu bio security requirements.


Bird Flu - What to do


  1. Disinfect house and run weekly. Add a footbath.
  2. Use plenty of absorbent bedding to keep birds dry.
  3. Sprinkle BioDri or Stalosan to absorb moisture and sanitise the house. 
  4. Hang boredom busters and pecking blocks to prevent boredom and feather pecking. 
  5. Put a good layer of wood chip in their run, don’t leave them to scratch around on bare earth.
  6. Create an enclosed area and cover roof with tarpaulin, rainshades or large PVC sheets

Brahama Chickens enjoying treats at Flyte So Fancy
Keep your birds occupied and reduce
boredom during the current Bird Flu
restrictions by providing pecking treats.
Creating a simple footbath for Bird Flu prevention
Create a simple footbath using a
tub trug and some Virkon S Disinfectant










Bird Flu - What to use
Keep your henhouse smelling sweet
You can use Stalosan powder throughout the
hen house to keep it sanitised, sweet smelling
and to absorb excessive moisture




Bird Flu - What you need to know

Including Why the restrictions and for how long? And what to look for.
  1. Outbreaks of H5N8 Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) have been confirmed in poultry and wild birds across Europe. No cases yet in the UK
  2. The Exclusion zone remains in place until 6th January 2017 and may be renewed if the danger has not passed.
  3. All poultry keepers must keep their birds housed and under-cover to minimise risk of infection from wild birds.
  4. This is a precautionary action to help prevent outbreaks in the UK.
  5. Increased bio security measures should be in place. This includes disinfecting clothing and footwear before and after entering poultry areas e.g. wear disposable gloves/coveralls and add a footbath outside the run area filled with Virkon S disinfectant
  6. Symptoms to look out for: - Swollen head; neck and throat discolouration; loss of appetite; respiratory distress; diarrhoea. If in doubt, call your vet.

Symptoms of Avian Flu and further guidance can be found here.  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#about-avian-influenza

If you have any concerns about the health of your poultry, seek prompt advice from your vet.

For poultry supplies delivered to your door visit our Flyte So Fancy website here http://www.flytesofancy.co.uk/ We are doing our very best to stock everything you need to keep your flock happy and healthy until this risk has passed.  If you need guidance about which products to choose, please do give us a call on 01300 345229.