Many people keep chickens to supply eggs or just as pets. If you are thinking of getting chickens, take time to find out what you need to get started and how to keep your chickens safe and healthy.
If you are considering keeping chickens at your property, please ensure that you are able to make suitable provisions for them. Like all animals, looking after chickens takes some time and effort.
Animal welfare must be of primary concern and you will need enough outside space for a chicken coop or shed and an exercise space
Keeping chickens at a residential property does not require a licence from the Council.
However, you must ensure that by keeping chickens you are not unreasonably interfering with the use and enjoyment of neighbouring properties - this includes disturbance from noise and or odour. Regular cleaning and proper disposal of waste is a must.
It is recommended that you discuss your plans to keep chickens with your neighbours before purchasing them. You must ensure that you locate the chicken coop in a location which is least likely to have an impact on neighbouring properties.
If you have any further queries you can contact the Environmental Protection Team and we will do our best to assist you.
The same guidance applies to keeping cockerels. However, you must seriously consider whether your property or garden is suitable to house cockerels. We receive many complaints regarding noise disturbance from cockerels crowing in the early morning.
It is important to ensure that the cockerel is located as far away as practicable from neighbouring residential properties, and is kept enclosed in an appropriate building. Other cockerels in the area will cause them to compete with each other and may result in excess crowing.
Keep the coop as dark as possible to minimise early morning crowing as a cockerel will crow when light enters the coop. The coop ceiling can also be lowered to prevent the cockerel throwing back its head and crowing.
If we receive a complaint about noise we are obliged by law to investigate it. We may ask the complainant to note down all the times that they are being disturbed and Environmental Protection officers undertaking visits to witness disturbances can use noise recording equipment.
In considering whether a statutory nuisance exists, we will consider the source, duration, time of day, effects and the type of noise and the character of the location.
If we are satisfied that the noise constitutes a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, an abatement notice will be served requiring you to stop the disturbance, and if this is not complied with, you could face a maximum fine of £5,000 for domestic premises, or £20,000 for commercial and industrial premises.
To report problems caused by noise or odour contact the Environmental Protection team.