NFU Scotland is calling on those members of the general public excited by the prospect of producing their own eggs and poultry meat to make sure they put the best interests of the hens as their first priority.
On the countryside program Landward, aired in Scotland on BBC2, the feature looked at the significant increase in the number of households looking to keep their own poultry.
NFU Scotland and the program points out that the welfare of the stock must take priority, and those contemplating such a move should undergo appropriate training in keeping poultry and ensure they have veterinary support.
NFU Scotland’s Communications Director Bob Carruth: “There is a danger that people get caught up in the whole wave of producing your own food without giving serious thought to all that is involved in properly looking after your hens and chickens. There is a big difference between growing a few carrots and lettuce to actually keeping and looking after livestock.”
Carruth also encouraged those keeping hens in their gardens or backyards to register their birds with the authorities. “Diseases, such as Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease, pose huge health risks to wild birds, small flocks and commercial poultry stocks. In the event of any outbreak, it is in everyone’s interests that we know where all birds are being kept and I would urge any new flock owners to sign up to the Poultry Register.”
Source: NFU Scotland