gillybirds

What came first- the chickens or the blog?

Bird Flew

on February 16, 2013

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For the past ten days I have been really feeling under the weather. A cold became ‘flu, which became a chest infection. I am gradually emerging from a wheezy achy fog, helped along by some very Spring-like weather.
Keeping hens is a relatively non-time consuming interest. Which is a good thing when you can barely lift your head off the pillow. As long as they are let out of their coop in the morning, have clean fresh water and food during the day, eggs are collected, and they are secured inside the coop,again at night, then they will be contented enough. Dogs as you can imagine are a little harder to manage when you are running a temperature and feel like you’ve been hit in the chest by a small car. But we have all survived. Gillyboy number four kept me company with the sniffles for a few days and despite our illness we had a lovely time watching nature programmes and making our own version of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups. Delicious!
Can you remember the public panic over first bird flu and then swine flu a few years ago? Can my poor girls get such an illness still? Apparently they can. avian flu information
Avian influenza, or bird flu, is an infectious virus that spreads among birds. It affects many species of birds, including chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese. It can be passed between commercial, wild and pet birds. Bird flu is caused by a flu virus that is closely related to human flu viruses. It is spread through bird droppings, water, feed and equipment. Like other types of flu, bird flu symptoms include a high temperature, aching muscles and headache.
Since December 2003, there have been many outbreaks of bird flu that have resulted in the death of poultry in countries across Europe, Asia and Africa. There are 16 types of bird flu, but the type that has caused concern in recent years is the deadly H5N1 strain. The H5N1 virus doesn’t infect people easily, although several infections have occurred in humans around the world.
As of January 2012, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed there have been 583 cases of H5N1 in humans. These have occurred in Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Laos, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. This had led to 344 deaths.
People who have had bird flu are thought to have developed the virus after coming into close or direct contact with infected birds. Millions of poultry have been killed during outbreaks to prevent the disease spreading and being passed on to people. The disease doesn’t so far seem to be able to spread from person to person. Several domestic pet species have been infected with and shown symptoms of H5N1 viral infection,including cats, dogs, ferrets, pigs,and birds.
In comparison over 700,000 people die of ordinary ‘flu worldwide. I wonder where my ‘flu came from?
And what signs of sickness should I look for in the Gillybirds?
Ruffled feathers
Soft-shelled eggs
Depression and droopiness
Sudden drop in egg production
Loss of appetite
Cyanosis (purplish-blue coloring) of wattles and comb
Edema and swelling of head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks
Green diarrhoea
Blood-tinged discharge from nostrils
Incoordination, including loss of ability to walk and stand
Pin-point hemorrhages (most easily seen on the feet and shanks)
Respiratory distress
Increased death losses in a flock
Sudden death
Nasal discharges

20130216-184356.jpgthis pretty object is a scientific illustration of the avian flu virus. Hopefully not coming here to Gillybirds Manor any time soon.

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One response to “Bird Flew

  1. juliecarol says:

    I feel like such a bad friend not realising how sick you’ve been 😦 Sorry 😦

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