Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Chicken lockdown

We're not the only species currently forced into lockdown. After outbreaks of avian influenza (bird flu) it is currently law for all chickens and other domestic birds to be kept in their sheds, or in enclosed runs, since December 14th. For our 400 laying hens, used to having one hectare to explore and hunt in, this is quite a change, and not one they are enjoying. 

So we have bought some pigeon netting, and built an enclosed run on each chicken shed using that and some old poultry fence we had, which our birds go out into every day, but which wild birds cannot access. All the greenery in the runs disappeared on the first day (chicken tractor!), but at least they get space, ventilation, and open air.

The closest outbreak of bird flu, according to the DEFRA website, was in Exmouth, Devon, on 29th December, so not too far away.

This and the current gorgeous cold snap has meant our chickens are laying very few eggs, so please be forgiving if you come to our farm shop and we've already sold out.

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