Avian influenza: Housing order to be introduced across England

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A national housing order will be introduced across England on Monday 7 November making it a legal requirement to house flocks

Mandatory housing measures for all poultry and captive birds are to be introduced to all areas of England from 00:01 on Monday 7 November, following a decision by the United Kingdom’s Chief Veterinary Officer.

Read more online at the Gov.uk website.

visit gov.uk website

Avian influenza: Prevention Zone declared across Great Britain

avian influenza blog

Following an increase in the number of detections of avian influenza (bird flu) in wild birds and on commercial premises, the Chief Veterinary Officers from England, Scotland and Wales have declared an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across Great Britain to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading amongst poultry and captive birds.


Avian influenza Prevention Zone has been declared across Great Britain making it a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures.

Read more online at the Gov.uk website.

visit gov.uk website

10% Off 25m & 50m Electric Gated Poultry Netting Kits

Simple box kits containing everything needed to construct a 25m or 50m (depending on kit ordered) electric poultry net.
Electric netting kits are the ideal option for those keeping a small amount of birds in a domestic setting and prefer a solution which can be moved and stored easily and has a low visual impact. Electrified poultry netting kits provide an effective deterrent against most predators and can be powered from the mains or a 12v battery (not included).
Includes 25m or 50m (depending on kit ordered) – 110cm high green netting, 4 corner posts, Gemini 80 energiser (25m kit) or Gemini 120 energiser (50m kit), hot gate entry system, 1m earth stake, ground skewers, pegs, corner guys, warning sign and LED fence tester
Requires HT lead if running from mains or a 12v leisure battery if running from 12v (not included – please request when ordering)
Please quote the following codes when ordering:
3491829 25m Electric Gated Poultry Netting Kit
3400557 50m Electric Gated Poultry Netting Kit
Click here to for contact details of your nearest store to order. 

Poultry Preparations for Winter

There is no denying that winter is upon us. Dark nights, frosty mornings and damp air. Follow the short, snappy check list below to get your poultry coop in order to keep those hens happy.

·         Carry out any essential repairs to the coop and consider a sheltered run if not already installed.

·         Ensure the coop and run are fully waterproof and address appropriately if not. Tarpaulin is an excellent temporary solution.

·         Check the ventilation- ensure there is airflow within the coop, essential to prevent ammonia build up which could be detrimental to the health of your poultry flock and yourself if inhaled.

·         Choose a clear day to take the opportunity to deep clean the coop. Scrape off any dried droppings and then scrub with hot soapy water. Using a safe disinfectant is advised and a variety of products are available in our stores.

·         You may have read our article relating to mites, even in the winter they can persevere due to the flock spending more time in the coop. So take the opportunity to spray a multi action product that will also act against bacteria, fungus and viruses. Ensure you get in all the cracks and corners.

·         To keep the benefits of your hard work, disinfect weekly ensuring you pay close attention to drinkers, feeders and anything else in the coop.  

·         Clean out more regularly due to the time they are spending inside the coop

·         Keep a close eye on the ground condition, damp conditions can encourage fungal infections on the chicken’s feet. Ensuring the run is covered and there is adequate drainage should help but depending on the type of ground you may need to lay down bark or hemp chippings.

·         DEFRA often enforce Avian Influenza prevention zones, please be aware and check whether your area is included and ensure your coop and run comply with the requirements.

Our Country stores have a variety of products to help ensure each and every point is ticked off your to do list. Pop down to your local branch and browse our range of poultry products including feed, bedding, supplements and disinfectants.

Moulting chickens? We’re here to help!

Don’t panic if you find your chickens are moulting, they go through several moults in their lifetime naturally, here Clare Taylor (aka The Chicken Whisperer) discusses the steps you can take to support your birds through what is a stressful period:

  • A chicken’s first moult is shortly after they hatch and they will have two, sometimes three moults before they achieve their adult plumage.
  • They will moult once a year, usually in early autumn although this can be dependent on the amount of daylight available. “An early moult, or perhaps an interim small moult, can be triggered by a sudden change in the daylight hours or temperature.
  • Typically, as the daylight hours shorten a chicken’s metabolic body clock changes.
  • They eat less and they start to moult. Some birds will experience a gradual moult, replacing feathers progressively, working down the body from head to tail, whereas others (the best layers can often be the heavier moulters) can experience a ‘total feather-drop’ and be virtually naked, which can look alarming!

“From the bird’s perspective a heavy moult takes up a lot of energy and nutrients and can have an adverse effect on its immune system” Clare notes. “It may become apparent that they look withdrawn, paler in the face and will possibly have stopped laying eggs so it is essential to support them through this difficult period with high-quality nutrition alongside vitamin tonics or powdered minerals. I usually take them off layers rations and my pure breeds are producing very few eggs by this time anyway” she continues, “and I feed them on growers’ pellets, which have more of the protein that they need to grow new feathers.

  • During moulting your chickens may benefit from some extra powdered Biotin as this also contains the ‘building block nutrients’ for forming feathers
  • It can also be advised to add a liquid vitamin tonic to their water everyday during the moulting period.
  • A vitamin tonic can help support condition, and B vitamins help to manage stress levels.

It is important to remember that during the moulting period your flock should be handled less frequently. “The emerging feathers in their quills have a strong blood supply and are very sensitive, so handling them will cause some discomfort” Clare notes. “I avoid any unnecessary handling at this time and hold off on routine medication such as worming until they are fully feathered again and I try not to move any birds to different pens around moulting time as this adds to the stress on the birds. Hens will typically all start to moult at different times (well mine do!), and it can take up to a month for them to all finish the process, and a further 3 weeks or so to start to lay eggs again”.

The moulting process is completely natural and happens on an annual basis but some simple management, and nutritional, adjustments can help support your birds at this key time to keep your flock comfortable and productive for as much of the year as possible.

Find your closest store here and our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to help recommend the best products for your feathered friends.




Red Mite Management for Poultry


Whether the poultry you own keep you entertained while gardening or supply the local village their breakfast, I think we can agree that the red mite is not an ideal coop companion for your chickens.

If you are not familiar with the beastly creature, it is a tiny parasite similar to the flea in that it spends the majority of its life cycle hiding in dark places, using the animal of choice as its dinner. Before feeding they are grey in colour but turn bright red when they have feasted on your chickens. This is usually when we can spot them. If you are unable to inspect your birds keep an eye out for:

• The birds avoiding the coop
• Tiny spots of blood on the shell of the eggs.
• The birds may look pale, anaemic or irritated

If this all sounds familiar or you are starting to itch just thinking about it, then here is a short summary of the steps you can take to prevent or reduce infestations, keeping your feathered friends feeling fine.

  1. Start by, completely disinfecting the coop, using an animal safe product; take apart the coop if you can. Leave the coop out in the sun, the UV light will sterilise and kill any stubborn mites still alive.
  2. Once dry, use an insecticide spray to coat the inside of the coop, helping kill any red mites still around. Aerosol products are good as it can force the product into any tiny gaps.
  3. Again, once dry, a louse powder ideally containing Diatomaceous Earth can be used in the coop, in a dust bath for the birds and directly on the animals. (ensure you read the label before applying it to your birds) A layer of powder added to nest boxes can also be advantageous.
  4. Finally, pop a tonic or vitamin booster into the water to help the birds to bounce back from the infestation.

If the infestation is bad you may need to repeat these steps. It is best to keep on top of red mite populations as an adult mite can survive without a blood meal for a few months, their whole life cycle can be completed over seven days and each adult can lay thousands of eggs. Once under control use the steps above to prevent further infestations.

Pop into your local store today to obtain advice and products to help keep your feathered friends in tip top condition. You will also find a selection of feeders, drinkers and bedding in stock.