Thursday, 8 February 2007

Championship Show and Avian Flu

On Friday we set up for the National poultry Club Championship Show with no premonition of what was to come. The trade stand was all ready for the go and most of the birds were in their cages ready to be judged. Then on Saturday morning the Avian Flu outbreak was confirmed in Turkeys in Suffolk and everybody waited with bated breath to see what would happen next. However as all the birds were already in their cages it was decided that there was no point in cancelling so the show carried on. The Picture below shows the trade stand ready for the customers.

Apart from the trade stands there are also stands for each of the breed societies the one below is the Rhode Island Red stand showing all the trophies waiting to be presented.

The Supreme Show champion was a Modern Game Bantam and the reserve show Champion was a Buff Orpington Cockerel.

I will talk more about these breeds in a future blog.

On the Sunday there were less visitors to the show probably due to people believing it was not on . This however did not spoil the spirit of the show although the main topic of conversation was the flu outbreak and the possible source of infection . It is strange that the only cases of avian flu in recent years in the UK have been in in East Anglia in intensive commercial flocks not in outdoor flocks. I am not going to talk about the symptoms of avian flu you can visit the defra website at for further information.

It is however essential that everybody is vigilant . To keep your birds away from wild birds you can keep them in a biosecure run. The Aviary with a solid roof and 1 inch square wire is ideal for this and can be used with the mini chalet for a few birds or can be attached to the side of the Standard 10 or 20 for larger numbers. Check the housing pages of our website for pictures and details of online ordering or telephone 01386 833083 when we can discuss any special requirements you might have.

Disinfection is also important to destroy any viruses. Virkon is very effective in the hen house and can be obtained in both a powder or tablet form for ease of use. To disinfect the ground use Staldren Powder . It can be spread liberally over the chicken run to sterilise the soil.

All our smaller houses and runs are easy to clean out and have covered runs or runs that can be covered if necessary. We also sell beech chips to place on the floor of the runs if if you are in a restricted area and are no longer allowed to move the runs.