Welfare during housing

Join the FREE webinar tomorrow night at 8pm (12th December) to learn more about how to improve the welfare of your birds during the Avian Influenza housing order.

These are the new government guidelines for backyard poultry owners...


  1. Ensure birds have natural light where possible and are not kept permanently in the dark. Any artificial light should ideally follow typical day and night patterns.

  2. Ensure there is adequate ventilation – adult birds will tolerate low temperatures but are very susceptible to high temperatures (temperatures should not be allowed to go significantly above 21oC)

  3. Feather pecking can be a risk when birds are kept indoors. Keep the environment interesting to reduce this risk. Consider adding pecking blocks, fresh bedding, straw bales and objects such as cabbages, scatter feed or whole grain on the floor of the building and add grit to litter so birds can scratch and carry out natural foraging behaviours.

  4. If feather pecking occurs, you can reduce light levels, although they should still be light enough for you to read a newspaper.

  5. If you keep several types of birds, you should house chickens or turkeys in separate enclosures from waterfowl (ducks and geese)

  6. Check birds regularly to ensure they are healthy and have enough food, water and dry bedding; you may want to consider nutritional supplements in drinking water as these can help keep birds calm..

  7. Skin parasites, such as red mite, can be a problem in birds kept indoors and can make birds more irritable. Advice on controlling these parasites can be obtained from your vet.

  8. Register your birds on the GB Poultry Register.


Reference: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/941139/biosecurity-poultry-guide.pdf




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Surrey Poultry Vet is a registered veterinary practice (RCVS), under the registered company Butler Physiotherapy Ltd, 11893457