Are there any restrictions on keeping a few chickens in the garden?
Keeping a few chickens in your back garden is becoming more popular. There are no local bylaws preventing any one from keeping poultry but you may find the points below useful before making your decision:
Many properties have covenants to prevent you keeping poultry and other livestock. If you rent your property check with your landlord.
Food and water left out for poultry is likely to attract vermin such as rats and mice. Chicken houses may also provide shelter for rats and mice. Environmental Health can take action against the landowner to eradicate any infestation.
In warm weather poorly kept poultry can result in unpleasant odours and attract flies, which may become a nuisance to your neighbours. If this is proven the Environmental Protection Team will require you to take steps to avoid causing nuisance.
Poultry like to communicate with each other and such noise can become a nuisance to your neighbours. If this is proven the Environmental Protection Team will require you to take steps to avoid causing nuisance.
Chicken coops and runs, depending on size, may require planning permission.
Under The Animal Welfare Act 2006 it is against the law to be cruel to an animal and you must ensure that the welfare needs of your animals are met.
If you keep 50 or more birds, you must register your flock with the GB Poultry Register. You can do this by calling 0800 634 1112 or online on the DEFRA website.
Poultry are susceptible to many diseases and need regular checks.