Can I keep chickens in my garden?
There are no laws preventing any one from keeping poultry but you should be aware of other legislation which will be applicable. Some properties may have covenants to prevent you keeping poultry and other livestock. The following information may be useful to think about before you make your decision.
Keeping a few chickens in your back garden is becoming more popular but the decision to do so should not be taken lightly. There are issues in keeping poultry, just as there are with any other creature or animal.
Owning a cockerel can cause problems; the cockerel will crow loudly on a regular basis and it is possible that in a residential garden this will cause a noise nuisance. If you have a cockerel that creates a noise nuisance, and complaints are received from neighbouring residents about the noise, the Council will investigate the complaint and if proved will take formal action to abate the nuisance against the owner of the cockerel.
In addition to the specific noise problems caused by cockerels, all poultry whether chickens, cockerels, ducks geese etc all like to communicate with each other and this noise can also be a nuisance to your neighbours.
Food and water left out for poultry is likely to attract vermin such as rats, mice and foxes. Chicken houses may also provide harbourage for rats and mice. Foxes will often shelter under sheds and out houses in a garden.
Where rats and mice occur in substantial numbers the Environmental Health team will take action to ensure that the vermin is eradicated. As the owner of the poultry, you can contact the Council's pest control contractor, A1 who will be able to offer you a free service to treat for rats. The service for mice is not free and must be paid for.
are attracted as much by the poultry itself than the food that is put out for the poultry. The Council does not offer any service to trap and remove foxes.
In warm weather poorly kept poultry can result in unpleasant odours emanating from the poultry; in particular chicken faeces and waste food can create significant odour and will also attract flies. All of this can create a nuisance for your neighbours
If you have poultry that creates an odour or fly nuisance, and complaints are received from neighbouring residents, the Council will investigate the complaint and if proved will take formal action to abate the nuisance against the owner of the poultry
The sheds and chicken runs must be cleaned out on a regular basis and the waste disposed of correctly. In warmer weather the sheds and runs will need to be cleaned out on a more regular basis.
Chicken sheds and runs, depending on size may require planning permission. The planning department should be contacted directly. Additionally the location of the runs and coops should not be near your own or your neighbour's home.