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Chickens Free to Roam

Avian Flu

With the latest cases of avian flu, it has been a requirement that all Chickens in the UK must be kept indoors to help prevent the spread of this devastating infection.

Organic producers have not been exempt from this, so for the last 12 weeks Andrew Jackson’s laying hens have been confined to quarters for their own protection.

As of the 1st March the restrictions have been lifted in all but the most effected regions of England, so it means that Andrew and his team can start opening the doors on the hen houses again as of tomorrow.

This has to be a very carefully managed process so as to make sure the birds are not unduly frightened and in any case Andrew expects it will take his birds a week or so to settle back into their usual routine.

It is a mixed and slightly confusing picture once away from our organic eggs. Wales and Scotland have their own rules and it would seem that the English producers are going to start putting stickers on their packaging explaining the free range hens are not free to range.

It is not entirely clear at time of writing but would seem that these stickers may even be on boxes from hens that are now free range again.