British Hen Welfare Trust has postponed all hen collections during the next month due to avian flu outbreaks on the continent.

The move has been announced after Defra declared an avian influenza prevention zone across England for the next 30 days, following outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N8) across Europe.

The charity has said the action taken by Defra is a precautionary measure only, and the UK remains free from avian flu (AI).

However, it is vital backyard hen keepers play their part in minimising the risk of an outbreak by taking sensible steps to safeguard their hens.

The following tips and tricks may be useful: Keep your hens inside if possible, if not try to keep them separate from wild birds as much as possible.

Make sure your hens’ feed and water cannot be accessed by wild birds, keep it in the hen house where possible.

Take extra steps to keep your coop clean including disinfecting all bird houses on a regular basis.

Restrict movement of your birds to within their run for the next 30 days.

Keep a close eye on your hens for any signs of illness and seek advice from a vet should you spot anything unusual.

Now is a really good time to register your flock with Defra; in the event of a disease outbreak, they will notify you immediately (often by text), enabling you to act fast to protect your hens.

For more information on the outbreak go to