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Avian Influenza

Avian Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection of birds and is classed as a notifiable disease. It is a legal requirement to report suspected cases to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). In the UK there are two notifiable diseases, Avian Influenza (AI), and Newcastle Disease. These diseases have a potential to severely impact on international trade, public health, animal welfare and wider society. Avian Influenza can be either highly pathogenic (HPAI) or low pathogenic (LPAI).

Avian Influenza is commonly carried by waterfowl such as ducks and geese. During the bird migratory season the UK bird population is at higher risk and the public are advised to take greater precautions to limit contact between their poultry and wild waterfowl.


  • Weight loss.
  • Sneezing and coughing.
  • Blue facial discolouration.
  • Twisted neck.
  • Eye and nasal discharge.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Head shaking.
  • Sudden death (HPAI).


  • Direct contact with wild waterfowl and wild birds.
  • Air born (aerosol) spread.
  • Droppings from infected birds.


Note that this home remedy is not intended to offer a cure or replace veterinary treatment, but may alleviate symptoms where no professional support is easily available. The suggestions are based on experience gained with our own hens.
  • Most birds infected with HPAI do not survive. Those infected with LPAI can recover and show milder symptoms. ANY suspected cases must be reported to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).


  • Routine health care.
  • Commitment to daily care.
  • Secure accommodation.
  • Good hygiene.
  • Rodent and wild bird control.

In the event of an outbreak follow government instructions:

  • Bring all poultry inside.
  • Do not move poultry off your land.
  • Remove all outdoor food and water stations to discourage wild birds.
  • If you cannot bring birds inside, cover their coop to prevent infection from wild bird droppings.

Read our leaflet produced in conjunction with BFREPA and the NFU which contains guidance on keeping your hens safe in the event of a notifiable disease.