Keeping Chickens at Home - The latest on Avian Bird Flu
I was contacted before Xmas by my local authority who informed me that all smallholders/ farmers etc who keep more than 50 birds of any type (chickens, ducks, geese, pheasants etc) must register with DEFRA (the Government Agricultural Department).
I rang the 'Bird Registry' department to inform them that I do not keep more than 50 birds. The person I spoke to informed me that in March of this year, everyone who keeps any number of birds will have to register. Now, I keep pigs as well as keeping chickens at home, so I have a DEFRA smallholding number in order to take pigs to the abattoir and I get sent all the notices. How on earth a postman from Kent who keeps three hens in his back garden is going to know he has to register in March is beyond me. But we will wait and see.
If you would like to know the latest developments on Avian Bird Flu in the UK, then go to: http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/notifiable/
Don't let them scare you too much! Even if Bird Flu comes to the UK, it just means your chickens will have to be keep inside until the problem is sorted out. As long as the chicken's run has a solid roof and is covered with netting to avoid contact with wild birds, everything should be fine.
Keeping chickens at home.