I’ve had a few emails after the newsletter has gone out asking about the current position with Avian Flu in the UK and whether or not there is still an avian flu outbreak. The simple answer is no – the restictions have also ended. The most recent update by DEFRA says that there are currently no restictions in place. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t still some risks and as such the DEFRA map still shows which areas are considered to be high risk for Avian Flu and it is worth keeping an eye on it.
As we again head into Autumn it is a good idea to keep an eye on the DEFRA website for any updates as the risk of outbreaks increases at this time of year and going into Winter. Hopefully though we won’t have the issues we had last year!
Poultry Breeders & Stock
As many may have realised a lot of breeders have held back the past 9 months and as such a lot have had no stock this Spring and Summer even after restrictions have been lifted. I’ve received a number of emails mentioning that people have contacted breeders on our listings and haven’t been able to buy birds. We’re sorry when this happens, but we have to rely on the breeder contacting us when they have no stock or have stopped trading. With over 1000 listings it would be a full time (unpaid!) job for us to check each listing, which is also why we have a disclaimer that these are third parties and not affiliated with ourselves. We are very grateful when you let us know breeders have stopped trading though, so thank you.
Many breeders will now have started to restock and I know that a few smaller hobby breeders have bred later into the Summer than normal, so there may well be more stock around now than earlier this year if you are still after a hen or two. You can check out our Poultry and Egg Suppliers to see if anyone local to you now has hens, ducks, or other poultry for sale.
Poultry Run at the Smallholding
Our own poultry plans have been on a backburner too. Hopefully come October when Gary has nearly a month off work we can catch up on these. Gabe is desperate to have a flock again and really misses his backgarden chickens. I know that none of the local breeders were breeding this Spring and most still haven’t bred or restocked so it may be Spring before we can have some egg layers again since it really is the wrong time of the year for us to hatch our own eggs too now. I can’t believe we’ve been hen-less for a year now though, far too long!
John has been working really hard on the plans for the fox proof set up. The Eglu will be in a moveable run with mesh roof on it so we can make the best use of the ground and keep the hens on fresh grass. There’s also been some debate of meat birds in one of the other acres in the future, but for now we are just focusing on getting some little layers pecking around again.
We’re quite busy at the moment as well with the fact Gabe is now school age, but we have made the decision to home educate. In many ways I think 4.5 is far too young to be starting school anyway, and feel the Scandinavian systems are far better (and their results prove this), so I am happy that I will be able to follow his pace and have no plans to force “education” until he is 7. It is amazing how these little sponges pick up so much without formal teaching. Gabe is learning how to read, maths beyond the level that would be expected from him at reception level, and a very wide vocabulary, just through play and being read to. However, I must admit to sometimes thinking will I have the patience for this? Here’s hoping I do!