Thursday 8 December 2016

Avian flu... bio-security measures ... oops!..two days late. I should watch more TV.

"Nice out today"
Two regular blog readers asked me this morning, " what are you doing about avian flu? are you keeping the hens indoors? At the time I wasn't doing anything at all. So I had a quick look at the  Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspection Directorate" website. It was so much easier to write when it was the plain"Department of Agriculture" but that's progress. I discovered that I am required to keep my free-range hens indoors for 30 days as from 6th December.

Without consulting the hens I organised their incarceration for this evening, two days late. I was aware that the flu had arrived in the South of France and thousands of geese destined for Christmas pate de foie gras  were slaughtered last week. Now it's in the Netherlands so our government feels it necessary to be seen to act.

Strangely there is no housing requirement in N. Ireland. If infected migratory birds can get to mainland Britain from Asia you would think they could make across the Irish Sea..

Even if you only have two hens in the back garden they must be banged up too.

Ricky and Scott turned up at four thirty to help. You have to wait until dark because then the hens become very sleepy and docile. I was able to lift them off their perches, pop them in the cat basket, then they were whisked off to their new pen in the old byre. The pen that we fortunately built and pine marten proofed in the summer.

We will probably find out if it's pine marten proof, they are more likely to be killed by a pine marten than avian flu.

The politician's do have to be seen to be doing something and covering their backs at the same time you might think.

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