Avian Bird Flu
Bird Flu season usually starts anytime from November onwards and happens to a varying extent most years, seasoned chicken keepers are accustomed to it and generally are set up and ready. Those new to chicken keeping can be very alarmed when the warnings come on the news. and It is a serious issue but the preventative steps we are asked to take by Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) are good general practice during winter, so well worth adhering too regardless of the current bird flu situation.
The current level is a nationwide prevention zone which is a fairly regular occurrence. Please check the status with Defra here as it can change day to day in different areas. I would strongly you recommend you register your flock (even if you only have 2 hens). Registration is compulsory if you have more than 50 hens but it is purely so DEFRA can keep you up to date with any disease outbreaks. If you sign up you will get text or email alerts whenever the avian flu rules change or is there a local outbreak. You can sign up here.
Ensure your hens are in tip top condition with good immunity by feeding them the best diet and giving a good supplement.
Keep your hens confined to their covered run where possible and stop them mixing with any other neighbouring poultry.
If they are being confined to their run keep them entertained with treat blocks or hang up vegetables and fruit in a wild bird fat ball holder or chicken treat holder.
If the run gets muddy or they don't have ground they can dig in, lay the mud management system and a deep layer of softwood wood chips for the hens to scratch in and keep busy and exercised.