DEFRA: You are allowed to keep up to 50 chickens on your land without registering with DEFRA, however after the avian influenza outbreaks, a poultry register was set up in 2005 and you are required to register if you keep more than 50 poultry on the premises – so you need to take into consideration any other poultry you have. It is, therefore, illegal under these regulations for you to feed your chickens with vegetable scraps. You might find yourself pondering the question as to whether your garden and your chickens can somehow mix, and not to the detriment of either one of them. If your hens are free-range, you will find they have a particular affection for scratching around in window boxes, posts, containers and newly-planted beds (and they can easily dig up flowers you have just carefully planted). In a small garden this could be a problem. The Act also imposes a duty on anyone responsible for an animal to ensure that the animal’s welfare needs are met. Geoff, “5 star service! While the UK government does not require you to register with DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) if you have under 50 poultry (poultry includes chickens, geese, ducks, partridge, turkeys, quail, pheasants, pigeons for meat, emu, ostrich, guinea fowl and rhea) you do have to register if that number exceeds 50 at any one time to the Poultry Register. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. How to Keep Chickens from Leaving Your Yard. A former solicitor, Nicola is also a fully qualified journalist. First of all, you must determine if there are too many chickens for your yard. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. If you don’t clean out the coop at least once a week the smell becomes really unpleasant. You can read about which plants chickens eat, or will avoid. Chickens are gregarious birds and need company. Material that is two feet in height, stretched out and secured with small posts, should keep birds put. If you have 50 or more birds you are required to register your flock with the GB Poultry Register. This site should contain everything you need to know about this fantastic hobby to get you started. For me, this was the number one reason for getting my first 3 ducks! One chicken can till 50 square feet of established sod in just 4-6 weeks! Food that includes bugs, eggs, larvae, even cocoons. Keeping chickens could, in some circumstances, amount to a nuisance; for example, if they are kept in close proximity to another dwelling house. Also contact your local authority to ensure there aren’t byelaws covering your area which restrict the right to keep chickens. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Chickens can also be a welcome addition to your lifestyle, adding protein to your diet, manure to your garden, and entertainment. Are Garden Chickens Legal? Forums and advice boards on sites such as Omlet and PoultryKeeper.com should have details about where you can buy hens locally. 1774/2002 prohibits ‘catering waste’ from being fed to farmed animals, which includes hens kept for domestic purposes. “I now have a stunning office in a garden – envy of all the neighbours!” Also, if you intend to buy young chicks it’s best to do so in summer; young chicks can’t cope with cold and can be killed if the temperature drops too low at night (for instance, if there’s an unexpected frost late in spring). As Tillers. Under the 1950 Allotment Act you are allowed to keeping hens on your allotment, as long as they are only for the use of the tenants and not used for business or profit. The benefit of keeping chickens is clear: not many other pets lay you an egg most mornings! The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 set out minimum standards under which farm animals (including chickens kept for domestic purposes) must be kept. For as long as I can remember before that, my parents used to keep 40 or so hens at the bottom of our garden. Watch how easily our log cabins and timber garden buildings are packaged, delivered and constructed. You should also consider what would happen if you fell ill or go on holiday as it is not always as easy to find someone willing to look after chickens as it is cats and dogs, for example. The rising popularity of back garden chicken-keeping has been fuelled by the growing range of henhouses on the market, in particular, the plastic ‘Eglus’, available in multiple colours from Omlet. If the birds are only let out for an hour or two, it may be feasible to sit and watch them while they roam. Tony, “Thanks again for taking the time to help me choose the right cabin – very helpful service.” Signs of poor health may include lots of muck on the feathers around the vent; or raised scales (eg sticking out at 90 degrees) on the legs and feet. The term ‘catering waste’ is very wide and includes all waste food originating from domestic household kitchens, as well as from commercial catering facilities and restaurants. In the UK, you do not generally need permission unless you want to keep 50 or more chickens (in which case, you need permission from Defra – the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). This won’t save your garden but it’s a must-have tip for anyone who wants to free range their chickens. Still have a question? Every council will definitely allow you to keep chickens, and generally the rules are quite common-sense - pertaining to how many you can keep, coop requirements and chicken maintenance. Even small flocks can be used to produce a renewable supply of fresh compost to nurture your garden, while garden waste … Controlled ranging-If you keep chickens in your yard then it would be wise to buy the chicken coop for your dear flocks as they would be maintained safely over there. Despite the damage that random chicken foraging can do to your garden, chickens and vegetable gardens can be natural companions. Ask a solicitor online now, Copyright © In Brief.co.uk, All Rights Reserved. Chickens do scratch up the ground with their feet, meaning they can quickly reduce the grass in their run to a dust bowl or bog (depending on the weather), and they can leave droppings on paths, patios and decking areas if they are allowed out of the pen. There could be situations when your chickens become a public nuisance, for example if you let them roam freely and they manage to destroy your neighbour’s garden or disrupt traffic. Make sure you remain vigilant while they roam in the garden so that they don’t harm your garden. But they also seem to enjoy sunbathing, so a mix of sun and shade is ideal. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 also applies to the keeping of hens. It’s a nice gesture to give your flock a space of their own to just be chickens, but when you fill it with plants and … Chickens Can Be Expensive. These extra rules are contained in the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 and the Welfare of Farmed Animals (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2002. If you're thinking of keeping chickens in your area, it’s important to check the council regulations in your area before you set up your coop and purchase your flock. Keeping a cockerel in suburbia is the fastest way to lose friends and alienate people (not to mention the threat of visits from the Council about noise pollution and possible legal action from sleepless neighbours). The ground around the run should be even – both chickens and foxes are expert at finding their way underneath chicken wire. White picket fence can also be used to keep the chickens out of your garden. Whilst the average chick will set you back about $3-5 per bird, there are plenty of additional expenses to keeping chickens. If you have close neighbours, they can sometimes have concerns that you may have to address before you start to keep chickens. In an article on problem chickens David Fleming (head of the property litigation department at William Heath & Co.) outlined that under the Animals Act 1971 that people who keep chickens in suburbia are liable for “damage caused by trespassing ‘livestock'”. If you’re thinking of keeping chickens in your own back garden then you really need to check with your neighbours first, and also ensure that your hens cannot escape. By scratching … Copyright © Inbrief, All Rights Reserved. By using this website you agree that whilst every care has been taken in the compilation of the information provided on this website, we won't be held liable or responsible for any loss, damage or other inconvenience caused as a result of any inaccuracy or error within the pages of this website. Some diseases – such as Avian influenza (bird flu) and Newcastle disease – are known as ‘notifiable diseases’; if one of your chickens has one of these diseases or you suspect that it may have you must, under the Animal Health Act 1981, inform a police constable of that fact with all practicable speed. Unless they’re kept in a cage or a hen house (coop), if free-range, chickens are definitely hard to control. Chickens can be noisy (eg when laying eggs, or when keen to be let out of their henhouse on light early mornings); smelly, if their henhouse is not cleaned weekly; and damaging to neighbouring gardens if they repeatedly escape. Restrictions on keeping chickens Check the title deed or tenancy agreement for your property to ensure there are no restrictive covenants prohibiting the keeping of livestock (which could include chickens). If you use your chickens in the garden, you can also harvest rich manure to create homemade fertilizer, and put your flock to work mixing organic wastes into superb compost. Keeping chickens from leaving your yard isn’t really hard but would require you some effort in building small renovations and being creative. Down the Lane cannot intervene with any disputes someone may have at the time of purchase or after. Would highly recommend GardenLife.”, “Thanks again for taking the time to help me choose the right cabin – very helpful service.”, This website uses cookies and gathers limited anonymous data to improve your experience. 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You can provide a space for your chickens to roam around and get out of their coop but not to leave your yard. These concerns are usually about vermin, odours or noise. S. Stevenson, “My summer house looks stunning, we’re going to love spending time in it!” But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. Would highly recommend GardenLife.” If you have neighbours who are proud of their immaculate garden they will be far from happy if they see escaped hens digging up their meticulously planted flower beds! Best duck breeds for eggs. Chickens and gardens CAN live together, so long as everyone knows their place. Spray the chickens with water. More than likely! Chickens are poor flyers, and most cannot easily clear 6′ fence. But unfortunately, your chickens love your garden too! This will not only keep your hens happy but will save you money on feed as well. The UK is generally poultry-friendly, only requiring registration with the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) if you keep more than 50 birds. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. For chickens kept in Wales, the Welfare of Farmed Animals (Wales) Regulations 2007 apply. You will, however, have to display your name, address, the best before date and advice on how to keep eggs chilled after purchase. Sue Evans, “Wow! If your hens do regularly escape it will be your responsibility to stop this from happening, and you can do this quite simply by running chicken wire or plastic trellis around the bottom of your fence or hedge. Keeping a few chickens in your back garden for some free, fresh eggs can be a rewarding hobby. Look at the quality of: You should also pay attention to ventilation: chickens are vulnerable to respiratory problems, and ammonia can build up from their droppings. They may also lay waste to your vegetable patch (unless you fence it off), so although you will have lovely fresh eggs to cook with, your veg may not look up to its usual standard. However, you may be subject to byelaws, lease conditions or the deeds to your house preventing you from keeping chickens, and there are rules that may apply to back-garden poultry keepers. How To Keep Chickens Out Of The Garden You love your chickens, and you love your garden. Keeping chickens at a residential property does not require a licence from the Council. It is illegal to bury or cremate a chicken in your garden. However, if your chickens are regarded as a nuisance or a health hazard, or their welfare is affected they can be removed. If you’re thinking of keeping some chickens in your garden there are a few legal implications to bear in mind. Ultimately, if you don’t want your hens to make a mess of your nice tidy garden they will need to be penned in. We don’t want to deter you from keeping these beautiful creatures, but for the best interests of you and the bird we are going to take a real world look at keeping chickens. Over 60 pages with information on keeping a Flock - Go to the Down the Lane 'Chicken Keeping, Hens in the Garden… A little too much...and now your grass is ripped up, your flowers trampled and your vegetables eaten. In the UK, you do not generally need permission unless you want to keep 50 or more chickens (in which case, you need permission from Defra – the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). Let’s look at these one by one. Just like us, there are some scents that chickens can’t stand – … The advantage of registering is that you will be informed of any disease outbreaks. Opt for easy-to-keep breeds. If you keep fewer than 50 birds, you can sell your eggs at your gate, locally door to door, or direct to consumers at a local market and you won’t need to mark or grade your eggs. According to PoultryKeeper.com (a great source of advice for would-be hen owners), each chicken should have a minimum of 1 sq metre in the run, though 2 sq m per bird is preferable. - Campbells are ace egg-layers, and are low-maintenance and friendly. They also make friendly pets: there’s something very endearing about a free-range hen racing across the garden to greet you, with a level of enthusiasm that only a dog could equal. You can then sit back and enjoy the company of a loving pet whilst tucking into a delicious, fresh, free-range egg! You should take legal advice from a solicitor where appropriate. Just get in touch if you have any questions. Looking after chickens requires time and effort. As chickens can’t differentiate your garden from theirs, take some time to implement measures that will keep your chickens out of your garden and in theirs. In the evening let them move around your garden so that they can enjoy some fresh air. Grant. By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. We have tried a variety of ways of keeping chickens. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. It would work best if you let your chickens out for a few hours in the evening and they start wondering over to the garden area. Some experts including landscape designers suggest that a small urban yard must only own 3 to 5 chickens, while between 5 and 8 for suburbans. I sometimes use it because of the deer, but I haven't found it necessary with chickens. When you see chickens wander into your garden, give them a quick spray with a standard garden hose. If you spot anything that looks incorrect, please drop us an email, and we'll get it sorted! If you have less than 50 birds you can still register on a voluntary basis. The occasional gift of freshly-laid eggs can also keep neighbours well disposed towards the hens. Generally, look for birds with clean eyes; and an upper and lower beak that meet in the middle. Chickens can overheat easily, so need the option of shade. But there now seems to be a sixth on the list: chickens. A small flock of hens makes little noise, so they can be kept in many areas without restriction (roosters are notoriously loud). If the birds are only let out for an hour or two, it may be feasible to sit and watch them while they roam. Please read our, rules that may apply to back-garden poultry keepers, good advice on reducing noise in this PDF, Stones at the base of plants or in pots can help to prevent this, read about which plants chickens eat, or will avoid, Native British trees – what you should (and shouldn’t) plant in your garden, Seven of the best gardens to visit in spring. However, you may be subject to byelaws, lease conditions or the deeds to your house preventing you from keeping chickens, and there are rules that may apply to back-garden poultry … Call 0131 660 6333Mon-Fri: 9-5 & Sat: 10-2, by Mark Bailey | Jan 21, 2016 | GardenLife Magazine. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Of registering is that you will be stored in your back garden for some free, fresh free-range... Your local authority to ensure there aren ’ t really hard but would you. More ideas about chicken diy, chickens are regarded as a legal journalist, editor and.... We have tried a variety of ways of keeping some chickens in your back garden for some can you keep chickens in your garden in scotland fresh... “ i now have a stunning office in a range of colours leave your yard isn ’ t your. 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