Re: birding-aus Newcastle's Disease Update

To: morris <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Newcastle's Disease Update
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Sun, 23 May 1999 16:01:52 +1000
Thankyou Alan Morris for your report.
Back in the days, we kept half a dozen backyard chooks in a galvo
deep-litter chook-house with wire front.  We used an allegedly automatic
birdproof feeder, but the chooks always spilt a lot. We seemed to be
feeding a great many sparrows as well, plus the occasional Indian Mynah
or Spotted Dove would get in from time to time. When we put fine
chick-wire on over the original wire grill-type front, so many sparrows
clung to it hopefully that it looked like brown felt!  They soon gave up
coming. However, it was of course important to close the door when the
chooks were out for a scratch in the garden.
   We never had any rat problems because we took great care to keep all
dry feed in galvo rubbish bins with close-fitting lids.
    Exclusion of wild birds to improve disease control is always
stressed in books on poultry keeping.  It applies to backyard birds as
much as to commercial flocks. 
A couple of commercial operations I have seen seemed to be full of
sparows and mynahs.
I was told 'There is no way you can stop them getting in or prevent them
roosting in the sheds'.  Surely State Depts of Agriculture should be
able to enforce hygienic measures?
Particularly as it endangers wild native species as well as domestic
    Thank heavens there has not yet been an outbreak in any major zoo or
wildlife collection....
   Anthea Fleming in Melbourne
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