Maintaining good bio security is important for any livestock owner, especially those keeping poultry and waterfowl on their premises. Diseases can be carried and spread by wild birds and can be transmitted by foot traffic from visitors. As livestock owners, we are all responsible for ensuring that we do all we can to prevent this from happening.
As we stock more than 50-birds on our premises at any one time, we have been registered with DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). We are required by DEFRA to maintain records of anyone who has purchased birds from us. We keep these records safely and confidentially. In the event of any outbreak of any notifiable disease brought into the UK by wild birds, DEFRA will notify us and in turn, we will contact our customers. This will enable us all to work together as a team, to keep our poultry safe from the spread of any notifiable diseases.
As a small holding, we take preventative measures to protect our livestock from disease. We do this by ensuring that anyone entering our livestock areas disinfect their footwear and also wash their hands before entering and when leaving the livestock areas.
We clean our hands using an antibacterial soap after handling any livestock or any visits to the livestock areas.
As a further preventative, we also follow our own bio security procedures, including seeing to the welfare of the youngest livestock, before going to the enclosures housing the older livestock. This is because the younger animals are more succeptible to picking up germs than the older ones.
The younger livestock are kept in separate enclosures from the older stock for the first few months, in order to prevent stress, which may be caused by any bullying and also ensure that they receive the correct care and eat the right type of feed, which are applicable to their individual ages.
All livestock are wormed, monitored and inspected on a regular basis.
Any animal that shows any sign of being unwell is kept completely separate from the others and quarantined until we are sure that they are completely well before being put back in with the others. We take care to ensure that we change our clothing after handling any unwell birds and we make sure that the equipment used in these areas are disinfected thoroughly after being used.
If we buy in any live breeding stock, we always source them from reputable breeders. We do not buy poultry from live poultry auctions.
Feeders and drinkers are always kept clean. Water and feed are replenished on a daily basis. Any feed that is spilled around the feed stores is cleaned up straight away. Any uneaten feed is taken away at night and kept inside. Hanging feeders are used inside the coups. All drinkers are either hanging, or raised up from the ground.
Any bathing water for waterfowl use is replenished on a daily basis.
All stored feed is kept in a dry, secure and clean area.
We constantly monitor and evaluate our bio security measures.