Well, if we are not hearing about humans being ill with the usual dreaded Winter lergy, all poultry keepers certainly know about the present Avian Flu outbreaks. Domestic poultry flocks have to be kept undercover at the moment with no access to wild birds. It is the annual migration of wild birds from Europe which has brought this to the UK. There is virtually no danger to humans, but in poultry this particular strain (H5N8) is lethal. It results in chickens and waterfowl, as well as turkeys and geese, dying very quickly and if found on large commercial farms where birds are kept in close proximity to each other, the remainder of the flock have to be culled. The DEFRA directive means that everyone, whether they have two or three birds in the back garden or pure breeds like myself must keep them undercover and away from wild birds. My chickens are very fed up (and so am I!) All the shows are also cancelled.
A few of us who had booked our trip to the Scottish National on a coach together with the hotel, decided to go anyway and have a weekend away. I visited Edinburgh and browsed the gift shops. I found some wonderful bird brooches – watch this space!
I am off to the annual Spring Fair at the NEC at Birmingham next week. This is for anyone wanting to get ideas for retail opportunities. Many of the people who supply me with items other than the jewellery will be there. It is quite strange to see people promoting Christmas items in February, but it is amazing how quickly the months go by.
I hope to be attending Gardeners World Live and Countryfile again later in the Summer and once this is confirmed I will be putting the dates and details on my site. In the meantime, there will be some other “birdy” items going on the shop page very soon, so look out for these.
Wishing you a Happy New Year, and let’s hope everything can get back to normal very soon.