Avian Influenza

We always advise you when there is a new outbreak of Avian Influenza in the UK, and unfortunately H5N8 has been found in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. This the highly contagious strain of AI, so please take extra care in your daily biosecurity routine wherever you live, but especially in this area. You can find all the information you need in our links below.

We are complying with Government guidelines in not rehoming hens during lockdown, but will review our position when lockdown ends hopefully in December and keep you posted.

At this stage we are all able to allow our birds to continue free ranging, but as a result of the outbreaks there are various steps we advise you take to help keep your hens safe and to comply with government guidance, see below.
  1. Keep feed and water undercover where possible
  2. Minimise the contact between wild birds and your hens
  3. Maintain good biosecurity and husbandry

More detailed information here on specific areas affected by outbreaks.

Avian influenza FAQs

No. At this time you are able to allow your hens to continue free ranging, but with increased biosecurity measures.

There is no vaccine available currently.

You should do your best to minimise contact between wild waterfowl and your poultry; try to net ponds and don’t feed wild birds nearby.

Move any bird feeders well away from your poultry to minimise contact. Always clear up spilled feed.

Ideally yes. A simple boot dip using a plastic storage box or tray and ideally a viruscidal disinfectant will be an effective safeguard. We recommend Virkon which can be purchased in small sachets from your local country store.

All poultry gatherings are currently prohibited.

Unfortunately not at the moment as we have currently suspended all rehoming work. However, we will be swinging into action as soon as we are able to and you can apply for hens now ensuring you are on the list.

Rehoming hens

Inevitably the arrival of bird flu in the UK may extend the period in which we are unable to rehome hens, but we are monitoring the situation on a daily basis and assure you we will get back into action as soon as we are safely able to.

Please watch our updates.

Avian Influenza Information
Avian influenza does not have a vaccine and therefore you should be aware of what to do in the event of an outbreak in your area. Please see our advice on avian flu here or below.

Your poultry their health

Helpful guidance on keeping your hens safe in the event of a notifiable disease, such as avian influenza. It may never happen, but being forewarned makes you forearmed.

The information is to help you understand when there is a serious problem so you can take appropriate action. Disease amongst poultry can spread FAST and knowing what to do as a responsible poultry keeper is vital.

Be Flock Wise – register your hens on the Great Britain Poultry Register (GBPR)

We recommend all keepers of pet birds and flocks, small and large, register their birds on the GBPR. Click here to register.  You can also sign up online to a separate service from APHA to receive free alerts of any outbreaks of avian flu in Great Britain. This advice has been agreed by the BHWT with Defra, Scottish Government and Welsh Government.

What action should you or your vet take if you suspect avian influenza?

Contact any one of the following; they will be able to help you:

  • Your local poultry-friendly vet
  • APHA (a DEFRA department specialising in notifiable diseases) – In England contact 03000 200 301
  • In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268
  • In Scotland, contact your local Field Services Office

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