7 December 2020

Avian Flu

Claire Smith, Vet

Chickens have become very popular pets in recent years and just like all pets they require care, proper housing and correct feeding. We have quite a few regular chicken visitors from Deal and Sandwich to the veterinary practice, and we know we have many clients that keep chickens at home.

As most of you will already be aware Avian Influenza has recently been found across the UK. All keepers of chickens either backyard or commercial should be aware of the need to increase biosecurity.

  • Feed your flock in an enclosed area aware from wild birds
  • Clean and disinfect your footwear and keep hen houses as clear as possible.
  • Fence of areas to reduce contamination sources.
  • Minimise movement in and out of chicken enclosures.

Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Respiratory problems such as coughing or gaping.
  • Fewer eggs being laid
  • Blue areas on the head and neck

Many of these symptoms can be signs of something less serious. If you need advice please contact the practice.

As of 14th December the government have advised that all captive birds must be kept indoors until further notice and not be allowed to free range or be let out of runs. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55201167

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