Avian Influenza Prevention Zone

8 Dec

Avian Influenza Prevention Zone in England, Scotland and Wales

Avian Influenza Prevention Zone Covered duck pen

As soon as Defra’s annoncement was made about the avian Influenza Prevention Zone, thick plastic was used to cover the ducks’ pen

By now there can’t be many duck or poultry keepers who don’t know about the avian flue prevention zone measures brought in by Defra.

For keepers of small numbers of chickens, the prevention zone measures are fairly easy to implement, if not requiring a little more thought and work. But for ducks and other waterfowl, the measures are not quite so simple.

It is possible to house chickens and turkeys, but waterfowl are much more difficult.

Ducks require more water to stay in good condition, and would create a hazardous mess if kept indoors without purpose-built facilities.

This extract (below) from the Defra document on the prevention zone explains what can be done about food and water. It does not specifically mention ducks, but because of their need to access so much water, ducks are as difficult to house as geese.

Feeding and watering
There are certain species of bird – such as ostrich, captive wildfowl or geese, which are not normally housed – for which the housing steps outlined above may not be practicable.
In such cases you should isolate their food and water from wild birds. Available feed and water will attract wild birds; by feeding and watering your birds under cover, the possibility of mingling is reduced. The steps you should take, where practical, include:
• Providing extra protection to feed and water stations to avoid attracting wild birds.
• Rotating feeding times. Many wild birds learn when captive birds are fed and congregate at these times.
• Preventing your birds from accessing open water that may be contaminated. Ensure that your birds receive only mains or treated water, or ensure that reservoirs or storage tanks are covered.

Our solution to the current 30 day notice is to focus fully on the guidance that says isolate their food and water from wild birds.

ducks - Avian Influenza Prevention ZonesOur ducks are now being kept in a polythene covered pen, which should stop bird faeces from above falling into the pen, and they will be given access to daily replenished water for washing a couple of times a day. Their food will be kept in the pen and feeding times altered each day. Together, this should work for our ducks as it reduces the possibility of ‘contact with wild birds’, which was always minimal, in any case.

The full Defra document is available here.

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