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Updates and information about Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in the UK and the DEFRA Prevention Zones




Monday 2nd May 2022

The news we have all been waiting for 😊 – as from Monday 2nd May the compulsory housing order originally imposed on our chickens due to Avian Influenza is being lifted.  Poultry and other captive birds will no longer need to be housed undercover, unless they are in a DEFRA/APHA Protection Zone, and will be allowed to be free range.


While the avian flu risk levels have been reduced to ‘medium’ infection may still be present in the environment.  All bird keepers should take proactive measures to prepare outside areas in advance the lifting of the housing measures. Please the PDF below to advise you on what to do next to keep your hens safe. 


Further advice can be found below:


The UK has faced its largest ever outbreak of bird flu with over 100 cases confirmed across the country since late October. Scrupulous biosecurity is the most effective method of disease control available, and all bird keepers should apply enhanced measures at all times to prevent the risk of future outbreaks and to keep your chickens safe.


We stock the advised DEFRA disinfectant to ensure your ground is biosecure and free from avian flu, thus enabling your hens to free range again. If you have not already got some in your cupboard, please get in touch as we have them in stock.


Some GOOD NEWS at last, but avian flu is still out there, so please stay vigilant.





Thursday 25th November 2021

Yesterday I received the following notification from APHA/DEFRA “New housing measures to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will come into force from 00:01 on Monday 29 November 2021. This means it will be a legal requirement for all bird keepers to keep their birds indoors/under cover and to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread and to eradicate the disease. More information at: GOV.UK:


Sadly, as usually happens at this time of year, there are many confirmed cases of the Avian Influenza in the UK.  These include cases in backyard flocks and commercial farms.  Unfortunately, all the birds at these premises have had to be destroyed.


It is essential that all poultry keepers, whether you have just 1 or 100,000 birds, adhere to the compulsory actions put in place by DEFRA to protect your birds and stop the spread of Avian Flu.  These cases can occur anywhere, and affect anyone’s birds, therefore it is important that the DEFRA legislation is adhered to, and all birds are "housed" and kept under cover.


Remember you have a legal obligation to comply and to keep your birds as safe possible by taking the following steps:-


·        Keep all poultry inside an enclosed run, which has a covered roof (tarpaulin will do) to prevent wild birds or their droppings coming in to contact with your birds.  Do not free range your birds.


·        Have a DEFRA approved disinfectant foot bath at the gateway to your chicken pen (so you do not walk the virus into your chicken coop).  Nettex Virocur Disinfectant or Virkon S are ideal as they are effective against Avian Influenza and are both DEFRA approved - both of these disinfectants can be purchased from ourselves – eg 1kg tub of Nettex Virocur will make up 100+ litres of disinfectant that will remain effective for maximum of 7 days.


·        Keep the ground inside the chicken run dry and clean by putting down fresh Easichick or Woodchip in your chicken run.


·        Use Agrisec 250 Plus 2kg or Natures Grub Ground Sanitiser 2.5kg inside your chicken coop to keep it dry and free from bacteria – it is a super absorbent sanitiser DEFRA approved disinfectant powder which will also remove any ammonia build up in the air.  This sanitiser can also be used in the chicken run too.  Change the bedding regularly to ensure the hens have a dry, comfortable coop.  Make sure the house has plenty of ventilation as the hens will produce a lot of moisture overnight and even in winter, they do need fresh air to circulate.



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DEFRA approved disinfectant for footbaths etc – IN STOCK

Foot bath – IN STOCK



To relieve chicken boredom in the run, hang up treats such as corn on the cob, cabbages or peck blocks.  If pecking does seem to become a problem use an anti-pecking spray to deter further bad behaviour.



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Pecker blocks – IN STOCK



If you have any questions or concerns about how to look after your hens please give us a call.


Keep up to date with developments from DEFRA use this link.  If you suspect your flock may have Bird Flu please contact APHA direct.  If you come across any dead wild birds, report them to the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.  The whole of the UK is currently under a Prevention Zone, but if you live within 10km of a confirmed outbreak you will also fall within a Protection or Surveillance Zone.  Use this map to check where these areas are.


The symptoms to look out for in infected birds included a swollen head, blue discolouration of the neck and throat, loss of appetite, respiratory distress, diarrhoea, fewer eggs laid, increased mortality.  Unfortunately, some of these symptoms are common during the winter months, or due to the extra stress felt by the birds because of being confined, but it is always better to get them looked over if you have concerns.


Those of us who are not poultry keepers can assist with the prevention of further spread by being sure to report dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks), or other dead wild birds such as gulls or birds of prey, to the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301.


To try to help everyone we have plenty of the products in stock, we feel are most important to you during this lock-down.  See my website for more details.  This includes all sizes of Diatom, and Agrisec 250 Plus,  Natures Grub ground sanitising powder/coop sanitising powder, Scarper anti-pecking spray, violet spray, all sizes and many flavours of peck blocks treats and of course Nettex Virocur  and Virkon S disinfectants.  Plus clear plastic covers with bungee hooks to protect/cover your chicken runs.


Why not give us a call today get your biosecurity up to date, and purchase a few treats for the girls at the same time?