Avian Flu warning and symptons

Once again the UK has some confirmed cases of Avian Influenza and the Government have advised that all poultry keepers need to maximise their bio security measures to protect their birds from contracting this highly infectious disease from wild birds.

As we have lovely habitats for wild birds in the areas where our poultry usually free range, including a pond for the ducks, we have taken the precautionary measure to keep our birds enclosed in areas where the wild birds cannot gain access.  We are hoping things don’t get as bad as last year and that the birds aren’t cooped up for too long.

If you have poultry, please be aware that Avian flu can spread quickly and negatively affect the health of chickens within hours. In severe cases, chickens can die within a day.

Common bird flu symptoms in chickens include:

  • Edema in the comb and wattles
  • Purple discolouration / cyanosis  of the wattles, combs, and legs
  • Diarrhea
  • Nasal discharge
  • Soft-shelled or misshapen eggs
  • Decreased egg production
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Lack of coordination
  • Swelling of the head, eyelids, wattles, hocks, and comb
  • Lack of energy and appetite
  • Pinpoint haemorrhages on feet and shanks
  • Ruffled feathers

Any one of these symptoms can indicate the presence of avian flu in your flock, in addition to sudden death that comes without warning signs.