Blue hybrid Chicken

Avian Flu – Latest Update

The government have updated their advice regarding avian flu:

All poultry in England to be allowed outside from Thursday 13 April following the latest evidence on the risk posed by wild birds.

“We have announced that the Prevention Zone rules will change from 13 April 2017. Keepers will no longer be required to house poultry or have total range netting in place in Higher Risk Areas of England. However, poultry keepers will continue to be required to follow our detailed requirements on strict biosecurity.”

 

Click here to read the latest press release from the government and here to see coverage by the BBC

 

avian flu

Latest Bird Flu Advice

It has been 12 weeks since governments in England, Scotland and Wales ordered poultry keepers to protect their birds from a highly-infectious strain of avian flu in Europe.
The emergency measures are now being scaled back and chickens can go outside in some areas.

From tomorrow (28 February 2017) new Avian Influenza Prevention Zones come into force in England, Scotland and Wales.
Poultry keepers must continue to follow enhanced biosecurity measures to minimise the risk of infection from wild birds.

 

Check the interactive map to see which prevention zone you are in and see the following links for more details of what is required in each zone:

More information about arrangements in England is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu

More information about arrangements in Scotland is available at: http://www.gov.scot/avianinfluenza

More information about arrangements in Wales is available at: http://gov.wales/…/environmentcountr…/ahw/disease/avianflu/….

 

In this video the Chief Vet, Nigel Gibbens, gives advice to people with backyard flocks on what they should look out for and how to keep their birds safe during the current Bird Flu alerts.

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Avian flu prevention zone extended until end of February

The Chief Veterinary Officer has extended a Prevention Zone to help protect poultry from avian flu

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This applies to everyone,wether you have 1 bird or 50+

  • Birds must be kept in covered runs
  • Wild birds (and their droppings) should not be able to get in
  • Ideally you should use a footpath to dip boots in before entering the run

Official government press release is here – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-flu-prevention-zone-extended

Coverage in Farming UK is available here – https://www.farminguk.com/news/OFC17-Poultry-housing-order-to-be-extended-until-end-of-February-due-to-bird-flu-risk_45233.html

Follow @Hollywater Hens on Facebook for updated info as it becomes available

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New precautionary measures to protect poultry against Avian Flu

Important – Please read.

All poultry keepers, even if you only have 1 or 2 birds, need to follow the latest guidelines produced by DEFRA. This is a precautionary measure for 30 days. There has been NO outbreak of avian flu in the UK so let’s try and keep it that way.

The DEFRA press release can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-measures-to-protect-poultry-against-avian-flu and is copied below for completeness:

 

The Chief Veterinary Officer has declared a Prevention Zone to help protect poultry from a strain of Avian Flu in Europe.

The Government Chief Vet has declared a Prevention Zone introducing enhanced biosecurity requirements for poultry and captive birds, helping protect them from a strain of avian flu circulating in mainland Europe. The zone covers England and will remain in place for 30 days.

Keepers of poultry and other captive birds are now required to keep their birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds.

Outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N8) have been confirmed in poultry and wild birds in several countries across Europe. No cases of H5N8 have been found in the UK and this order is a precautionary measure to help prevent potential infection from wild birds.

Public Health England (PHE) advises that the threat to human health remains very low.

Defra is continuing to monitor the situation closely and has increased its surveillance activity, while keepers are being urged to reinforce biosecurity measures on their premises.

Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens said:

While no cases of H5N8 avian flu have been found in the UK, and PHEadvises the public health threat is low, we are closely monitoring the situation across Europe and have scaled up surveillance in response to the heightened risk.

As a precaution, and to allow time for poultry and captive bird keepers to put in place appropriate biosecurity measures, we have declared a 30-day Prevention Zone to reduce the risk of infection from wild birds.

Even when birds are housed a risk of infection remains so this must be coupled with good biosecurity – for example disinfecting clothing and equipment, reducing poultry movement and minimising contact between poultry and wild birds.

Poultry keepers are advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns. They can help prevent avian flu by maintaining good biosecurity on their premises, including:

  • cleansing and disinfecting clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry – if practical, use disposable protective clothing
  • reducing the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry are kept to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products and using effective vermin control
  • thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting housing at the end of a production cycle
  • keeping fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all points where people should use it, such as farm entrances and before entering poultry housing or enclosures
  • minimising direct and indirect contact between poultry and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds

Further information

  • Since 3 November, highly pathogenic avian influenza of subtype H5N8 has been found in dead wild birds in Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the Russian Federation. These outbreaks have affected various wild bird species, including Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula), Common Pochard (Aythya ferina), gull species, wild geese, wild swans and various other wild waterfowl and raptors. Read the latest outbreak assessment or sign up to our Alerts Service to keep up to date with the latest news.
  • Clinical signs that poultry keepers should look for in their birds include a swollen head, discolouration of neck and throat, loss of appetite, respiratory distress, diarrhoea and fewer eggs laid – although these vary between species of bird.
  • Where avian influenza (or Newcastle Disease) is not strongly suspected, but cannot be ruled out, poultry keepers may wish to liaise with their private veterinarian about using the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) ‘testing for exclusion’ regime in GB. This involves submitting samples to a testing service at the APHA’s National Reference Laboratory, Weybridge and can help detect a notifiable avian disease at the earliest opportunity for such cases.
  • Wild bird surveillance activity in Great Britain has been increased. If poultry keepers or the general public find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or gulls, or five or more dead wild birds of other species in the same location, they should report them to the Defra helpline.

 

pumpkins

Hen Keeping Tips for November

Now that Hallowween is over why not feed leftover pumpkins to your chickens? Pumpkins are high in essential vitamins and minerals. Just check for any rot or mold and cut up into large chunks. Your chickens will eat most of the flesh leaving just the skin.

pumpkins

chickens

Hen Keeping Tips for October

  • Check coops for leaks and fix stiff hinges or locks before winter.
  • Ensure perimeters of runs have no breaks which predators could penetrate.
  • Create a dust bath by filling a plastic box with play sand or dry compost for use when the ground is damp.
  • Provide extra shelter from the elements with a beach windbreak.
  • Clear up any spills in the feed store and make sure there is no damage from pests.
Salmon Faverolle chicken

Hen Keeping Tips for September

  • Collect bracken and hang bunches to dry – it is a great source of free bedding for your coop.
  • Do not be tempted to overfeed hens with corn, as fat chickens will stop laying.
  • Make a health busting treat:
    • 1 cup each of rolled oats, wheat and sunflower seeds, plus 1 teaspoon each of brewers yeast, garlic and dried sea weed, combined with cod liver oil.
chickens

Hen Keeping Tips for August

  • Gather stinging nettles (wearing protective gloves) then blanch them for a few minutes and freeze in small batches. Give them to your flock for a dose of vitamin c and iron
  • Keep chickens healthy by worming them with a natural product such as verm-x once a month
  • Hang bunches of fragrant herbs, including mint, rosemary or lavender, in the coops to mask odours which are especially pungent in the heat
Hollywater Hens Shop Sign

Bank Holiday Monday Opening and Extra Chicken Keeping Courses

Open Bank Holiday Monday

Hollywater Hens has extended opening hours this Bank Holiday weekend and the weather is mostly looking dry and sunny 🙂

Saturday 30th April - 10am-4pm

Sunday 1st May - 10am-4pm

Monday 2nd May - 10am-4pm

Come and visit our Hollywater Hens smallholding near Borden on the Hampshire/Surrey border.

Come and see the chickens and all of the other animals we have on the smallholding

brown bird 300

white birds 300

piglets

lamb 2

brownies

The Hollywater Hens shop will be open for all of the equipment you need including our new hen house and run range or just stop by to have a chat and get some advice.

lambs in front of the Hollywater Hens shop

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We also have some extra places available on our Chicken Keeping Course running this Sunday Morning - May 1st - See our Courses page for more details.

Merrist Wood College with their certificates of achievement and new Smallholders book

And we are now taking bookings for the following dates too:

Sunday 8th May

Sunday 22nd May

Beginners chicken keeping courses take place from 10:00–12:30. The cost of the course is £40 and includes sandwiches (egg – would you believe!), cake and tea/coffee or juice. Please contact us for more details and further information and to book your place.


“Fantastic course at Hollywater hens today. Suzie Baldwin is hugely knowledgeable and a real confidence giver. Can’t wait to get my girls.” – Helen Ellis via our Facebook page


The Hollywater Hens’ Beginners Chicken Course includes:

  • Setting up
  • Chicken breeds
  • Feeding chickens
  • Handling chickens
  • Common chicken health problems
  • How to handle your hens
  • Wing clipping
  • Questions and answer session with fresh sandwiches, cake and tea or coffee.

“A fantastic few hours learning from the Jedi Chicken Master herself Suzie Baldwin. We decided to take the course before we move to France in April and do this all by ourselves. Suzie couldn’t have been more helpful if she tried!! Fantastic course, great lady, great setup highly recommended to all!!!” – Andy MacPherson via our Facebook page


Holding a baby chick

The beginners chicken keeping course is a great way to gain confidence and knowledge enabling you to provide your hens with a happy healthy lifestyle.

Also they are a great way to meet like minded people.
Old clothes and wellington boots are advisable as this is a fun, hands-on practical course.

 

Telephone or email for more details and to book your place:

telephone contact details for Hollywater Hens07810 660817 or 01428 751749

email contact details for Hollywater Hens  suzie@hollywaterhens.co.uk