We are less than 10 miles from Redgrave where the H5N1 strain of Avian Flu has been confirmed and now my chickens are under threat.
I am starting to think the unthinkable and am preparing for a rough couple of weeks.
Although I only have 40 or so birds it is impossible for me to restrict their movements and keep them from contamination by wild birds. My home is surrounded by two moats and we have no way of preventing wild duck from landing here. My hens are free range.
Even getting them inside will not help as wrens, blue tits and sparrows abound here. Although I have laughed about bio-security I have taken it very seriously and created an area where the hens can come indoors – the problem is for how long and do I really want to keep my beautiful birds indoors? They have never been restricted – I almost feel it would be too cruel.
Tomorrow we will keep them in the hut and round up the more feral of the group. We will cull all the surplus cockerels keeping just Goat Shed Boy, Ollie, Stanley and Mr Tickle. We‘ll get the other to areas safe and start to move the birds in….I will call DEFRA and see what advice they give … I am not hopeful.