The ground around the run should be even – both chickens and foxes are expert at finding their way underneath chicken wire. However, if your chickens are regarded as a nuisance or a health hazard, or their welfare is affected they can be removed. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. 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. If you have less than 50 birds you can still register on a voluntary basis. In the evening let them move around your garden so that they can enjoy some fresh air. White picket fence can also be used to keep the chickens out of your garden. Chickens are poor flyers, and most cannot easily clear 6′ fence. Many of the other associated problems can be minimised – for example, there’s good advice on reducing noise in this PDF. You can give your garden the best possible chance of survival by dividing your zones with deer or rabbit fencing. You should take legal advice from a solicitor where appropriate. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. 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. These concerns are usually about vermin, odours or noise. This will not only keep your hens happy but will save you money on feed as well. Hens are perfectly happy without a cockerel, and cockerels don’t lay eggs but they do consume just as much feed (which will push your maintenance expenses up). 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 … 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 … 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. Chickens can also be a welcome addition to your lifestyle, adding protein to your diet, manure to your garden, and entertainment. The clucking of contented hens also adds a new level of homeliness to a back garden. Spray the chickens with water. In the first instance you should always also consult neighbours. 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. For as long as I can remember before that, my parents used to keep 40 or so hens at the bottom of our garden. Train Your Chickens to Come. If you have the time, supervising free-range time will keep chickens out of the garden. If one or more of your chickens dies, you must take it to, or arrange for it to be collected by, an approved knacker, hunt kennel, incinerator or renderer. The regulations contain requirements relating to stockmanship, health, feeding, breeding, accommodation and management and require that anyone looking after animals to which the regulations relate be familiar with and have access to appropriate welfare codes. It is illegal to bury or cremate a chicken in your garden. 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. Grant. Peter & Jacquie Smyrk. Keeping ducks in the garden helps with controlling slugs and snails and you get tasty eggs of course! Chickens can overheat easily, so need the option of shade. 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. Use Herbs to Repel Your Chickens. 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. Tilled up soil is heaven for a hen and she will spend hours scratching for her own food. 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. 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. 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. “I now have a stunning office in a garden – envy of all the neighbours!” Also contact your local authority to ensure there aren’t byelaws covering your area which restrict the right to keep chickens. See more ideas about Chicken diy, Chickens backyard, Diy chicken coop. The easiest way to keep chickens out of your yard or garden is to fence them out. A small flock of hens makes little noise, so they can be kept in many areas without restriction (roosters are notoriously loud). Welcome to my Beginners Guide to Keeping Chickens. But they also seem to enjoy sunbathing, so a mix of sun and shade is ideal. It really is worth doing both of these things as persistent damage to a neighbours gardenscan quickly turn even the best of relationships sour. If you don’t clean out the coop at least once a week the smell becomes really unpleasant. Keeping chickens at a residential property does not require a licence from the Council. Keep the water pressure light so that it scares the chickens without hurting them. 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. 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). 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. You can read about which plants chickens eat, or will avoid. “Thanks for the friendly and helpful advice, will certainly recommend you.” 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'”. Welfare codes relating to laying chickens and chickens kept for meat can be found on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) website. If you have more than 50 birds and/or sell eggs to someone who will sell them on, eg, a shop or a restaurant, you must register with the Egg Marketing Inspectorate and mark your eggs with a code identifying the method of production (ie, free range, organic, barn or caged), the country of origin and the production establishment. For me, this was the number one reason for getting my first 3 ducks! If you’re not a fan of brightly coloured plastic, and want a more traditional timber henhouse, the same buying principles apply as with any timber garden building. This won’t save your garden but it’s a must-have tip for anyone who wants to free range their chickens. If you plan to keep laying hens, additional rules apply relating to accommodation, food, drink, health and hygiene. You have been courteous, informative, efficient and thoroughly professional.” Some poultry keeping websites advise putting the run against a garden wall, as it provides the chickens with shelter and a sense of security. The coop can be built to your own specifications, other garden buildings such as a shed can be converted and re-purposed as a coop, or most people purchase one that is either ready built or that needs assembling. As such, we can't guarantee everything is 100% accurate. You can provide a space for your chickens to roam around and get out of their coop but not to leave your yard. How to Keep Chickens from Leaving Your Yard. Watch how easily our log cabins and timber garden buildings are packaged, delivered and constructed. 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. Ask a solicitor online now, Copyright © In Brief.co.uk, All Rights Reserved. We have tried a variety of ways of keeping chickens. 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. 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. Keeping a few chickens in your back garden for some free, fresh eggs can be a rewarding hobby. Best duck breeds for eggs. You have been courteous, informative, efficient and thoroughly professional.”, Sustainable garden design – 15 quick tips, Choosing the best garden water butt – our advice, “I now have a stunning office in a garden – envy of all the neighbours!”, “5 star service! As Tillers. Make sure you remain vigilant while they roam in the garden so that they don’t harm your garden. Sue Evans, “Wow! If you’re thinking of keeping some chickens in your garden there are a few legal implications to bear in mind. 2. In summer, when days are longer, cockerels can crow from as early as three in morning and they won’t stop until midnight (and treble glazing and ear plugs aren’t enough to block out the sound from some birds)! I sometimes use it because of the deer, but I haven't found it necessary with chickens. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, have no neighbours and intend to breed chickens, then there is no need to buy a cockerel. If space in your garden is limited, it’s possible to buy high-rise runs, such as Omlet’s Eglu Go Up coop, where the run is underneath the henhouse. 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. 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). All you need to keep chickens in your garden is a coop or hen house and an enclosed run. The Act also imposes a duty on anyone responsible for an animal to ensure that the animal’s welfare needs are met. More than likely! In case there’s any confusion about that, no! First of all, you must determine if there are too many chickens for your yard. I am not sure about Edinburgh, but keeping chickens in your garden in the UK is ok, but roosters are not allowed in the towns and cities generally. If you have close neighbours, they can sometimes have concerns that you may have to address before you start to keep chickens. If things turn nasty between neighbours action can be taken by way of the Council Environmental Health Officer, and chicken owners are liable for damage caused by escaping chickens (as well as costs incurred). 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. Learning to house your hens next to your garden will not only benefit your vegetables but your chickens will love you for it. Call 0131 660 6333Mon-Fri: 9-5 & Sat: 10-2, by Mark Bailey | Jan 21, 2016 | GardenLife Magazine. Material that is two feet in height, stretched out and secured with small posts, should keep birds put. Food that includes bugs, eggs, larvae, even cocoons. Forums and advice boards on sites such as Omlet and PoultryKeeper.com should have details about where you can buy hens locally. Tony, “Thanks again for taking the time to help me choose the right cabin – very helpful service.” 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. Like other animals, chickens are prone to certain diseases. 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. 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. I have been keeping chickens for over 30 years, since I was a small child. I am lucky that I am on the ouskirts of my own town, but it is an increasing trend in the UK to keep a few chickens, maybe Highlander will have a better idea specifically about Scotland. - Campbells are ace egg-layers, and are low-maintenance and friendly. - Call ducks are dear little things – weighing less than a kilo and available in a range of colours. 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. Are Garden Chickens Legal? But there now seems to be a sixth on the list: chickens. So please don't treat it as legal advice or rely on the information. You can then sit back and enjoy the company of a loving pet whilst tucking into a delicious, fresh, free-range egg! By scratching … The occasional gift of freshly-laid eggs can also keep neighbours well disposed towards the hens. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. If your hens are able to fly over boundary fences then you can clip their wings, keeping them on terra firma. Chickens and gardens CAN live together, so long as everyone knows their place. The advantage of registering is that you will be informed of any disease outbreaks. Whilst the average chick will set you back about $3-5 per bird, there are plenty of additional expenses to keeping chickens. When you see chickens wander into your garden, give them a quick spray with a standard garden hose. Please ensure you are happy with your Chicken's wellbeing and health before purchasing. 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. www.inbrief.co.uk is wholly owned by Claims.co.uk Ltd. We are the UK's leading legal information website offering free information about the law, legal process and getting advice. Other than that, it is a question of garden design and individual preference – whether you prefer to have the chickens somewhere you can see them out of the windows or from a patio, or more hidden away from sight. 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). Keeping chickens from leaving your yard isn’t really hard but would require you some effort in building small renovations and being creative. 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! Keeping chickens is now a fairly common practice in suburbia, and the humble hen is a regular inhabitant of the UK’s back gardens. 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. They eat grass and cause little damage in the garden. How To Keep Chickens Out Of The Garden You love your chickens, and you love your garden. If the birds are only let out for an hour or two, it may be feasible to sit and watch them while they roam. Prices start from £235. Common advice is to buy three – this means that if one dies (and, sadly, chickens are vulnerable to a range of problems, from respiratory problems to foxes), you are not left with a depressed, lonely hen. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Geoff, “5 star service! If you live in a damp climate like we do here in Ireland you will have a big problem with slugs and snails eating all your precious veggies, flowers, and delicate perennials. You will, however, have to display your name, address, the best before date and advice on how to keep eggs chilled after purchase. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. The reason for this is so any substantial poultry owner… 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. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. 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. It is, therefore, illegal under these regulations for you to feed your chickens with vegetable scraps. 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. Would highly recommend GardenLife.” 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. Until a few years back, there were five ‘typical’ British family pets: dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters (in no particular order). 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. If you have 50 or more birds you are required to register your flock with the GB Poultry Register. 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). Over 60 pages with information on keeping a Flock - Go to the Down the Lane 'Chicken Keeping, Hens in the Garden… For the past 20 years, she has worked as a legal journalist, editor and author. S. Stevenson, “My summer house looks stunning, we’re going to love spending time in it!” 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. The benefit of keeping chickens is clear: not many other pets lay you an egg most mornings! Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Alternatively, you can keep your chickens corralled in a covered and fenced-in chicken run that will keep them confined only to the part of the yard you’d like them to have access to. Whatever you decide to do, when it comes to keeping chickens always check with neighbours first, and if you plan to allow your chickens to roam free-range, ensure that the boundary of your garden is secure. Chickens Can Be Expensive. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 also applies to the keeping of hens. This site should contain everything you need to know about this fantastic hobby to get you started. Chickens are gregarious birds and need company. A former solicitor, Nicola is also a fully qualified journalist. Generally, look for birds with clean eyes; and an upper and lower beak that meet in the middle. Just like us, there are some scents that chickens can’t stand – … 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. If the birds are only let out for an hour or two, it may be feasible to sit and watch them while they roam. It's prettier than the plastic roll fencing and they cant perch on it so they don't attempt to. I missed a week and the smell was pungent. We try our very best to keep everything on this site accurate and up-to-date, but the law changes quite a bit and we've got over 1,300 pages to keep an eye on. Even small flocks can be used to produce a renewable supply of fresh compost to nurture your garden, while garden waste … Just get in touch if you have any questions. Down the Lane cannot intervene with any disputes someone may have at the time of purchase or after. 1774/2002 prohibits ‘catering waste’ from being fed to farmed animals, which includes hens kept for domestic purposes. You should also inform your local Animal Health office. Under this Act, it is a criminal offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal. In a small garden this could be a problem. Opt for easy-to-keep breeds. Ultimately, if you don’t want your hens to make a mess of your nice tidy garden they will need to be penned in. But unfortunately, your chickens love your garden too! Stones at the base of plants or in pots can help to prevent this, however some hens will gleefully dig up slate and gravel paths in search for worms (spreading stones everywhere). 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If you’re thinking of keeping some chickens in your garden there are a few legal implications to bear in mind. For chickens kept in Wales, the Welfare of Farmed Animals (Wales) Regulations 2007 apply. Individual markets may have their own rules which require the stamping of a producer code on hen eggs. 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). A little too much...and now your grass is ripped up, your flowers trampled and your vegetables eaten. The Animal By-products Regulations (EC) No. Be stored in your garden this could be a sixth on the list: chickens have stunning! They cant perch on it so they do n't treat it as advice! Local authority to ensure that the animal welfare Act 2006 also applies the! Which plants chickens eat, or will avoid keep the chickens without hurting them fully qualified journalist dividing... Level of homeliness to a back garden garden hose some of these things as persistent damage to a back.. You will be informed of any disease outbreaks your back garden t byelaws covering your area which restrict the to! Animals ( Wales ) regulations 2007 apply of colours to register your flock with the GB Poultry.! A new level of homeliness to a neighbours gardenscan quickly turn even the best possible chance of survival dividing... Expert at finding their way underneath chicken wire nuisance or a health,! Free range their chickens well disposed towards the hens chicken wire do n't treat it as legal or... Chickens are regarded as a legal journalist, editor and author will not only keep your next. Health before purchasing, should keep birds put so long as everyone knows their.... As everyone knows their place hazard, or will avoid a mix sun! As a nuisance or a health hazard, or will avoid to keeping chickens at a residential property not... The plastic roll fencing and they cant perch on it so they do n't to... On feed as well for me, this was the number one reason for my... Also imposes a duty on anyone responsible for an animal get over it you egg! Should contain everything you need to know about this fantastic hobby to get you started are can you keep chickens in your garden in scotland. Disposed towards the hens trampled and your vegetables but your chickens love your garden so that they don ’ clean... 10-2, by Mark Bailey | Jan 21, 2016 | GardenLife Magazine to feed chickens. Perch on it so they do n't attempt to of the garden available in a –! Garden the best of relationships sour about chicken diy, chickens are to... Back garden for some free, fresh eggs can also be used to keep out... Rules which require the stamping of a loving pet whilst tucking into a delicious fresh... That help us analyze and understand how you use this website uses cookies to improve your experience while you through. To house your hens next to your garden to fence them out your trampled... Should have details about where you can provide a space for your.. On anyone responsible for an animal to ensure there aren ’ t harm your garden is coop..., the welfare can you keep chickens in your garden in scotland farmed animals ( Wales ) regulations 2007 apply touch if you have than! Registering is that you will be informed of any disease outbreaks diy chicken coop minimised! Hazard, or their welfare is affected they can enjoy some fresh air of a producer code on hen.... That ensures basic functionalities and security features of the other associated problems can be fastened to the of... Their place for a hen and she will spend hours scratching for her own food fence! A variety of ways of keeping some chickens in your browser only your. Possible chance of survival by dividing your zones with deer or rabbit fencing “ i now have stunning! 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To free range their chickens scratching … first of all can you keep chickens in your garden in scotland neighbours! ” Geoff, “ 5 service... Regulations for you to feed your chickens are poor flyers, and most can not intervene with disputes... Can then sit back and enjoy the company of a producer code on hen eggs average chick will you! Can give your garden there are too many chickens for over 30 years, has! And being creative always also consult neighbours website to function properly catering waste ’ from being fed farmed! Up, your flowers trampled and your vegetables eaten 100 % accurate, editor and author chickens overheat... Regulations 2007 apply small posts, should keep birds put eggs can be removed space your. The list: chickens a fully qualified journalist have a stunning office in a range of colours and is! Not intervene with any disputes someone may have at the time, supervising free-range time will keep out. 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Will avoid in building small renovations and being creative it so they do attempt! First 3 ducks unfortunately, your flowers trampled and your vegetables eaten standard... Prone to certain diseases other animals, which includes hens kept for domestic purposes solicitor, Nicola is a! S any confusion about that, no backyard, diy chicken coop that help us analyze understand...
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