DEFRA: The Poultry Register

DEFRA keep a Poultry Register and it is compulsory to register if you keep more than 50 birds although they also encourage people with fewer than 50 birds to register so that poultry keepers can be notified of disease outbreaks such as Avian Influenza.


  • You must register if you go over 50 birds at any time: remember to consider chicks and any excess birds that are hatched for the dinner table each year.
  • ‘Poultry’ includes: chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, pigeons (kept for meat), partridge, pheasants, quail, osterich, emu, rhea and Guinea fowl so it soon adds up!

11 Responses to DEFRA: The Poultry Register

  1. shelley ford says:

    Hi, I work in a junior school and we are interested in getting some chickens and ducks and was wondering if we had to register with yourselfs. Thank you

  2. mr elliiot says:

    Hi i have 3 chickens an 2 ducks do i need to rejester them thanks

  3. chrissie says:

    My sons neighbour has started keeping chickens in a small garden, even though they are lovely and the eggs are great he cannot sit out in his garden for the smell, is there anything he can do so neutralise this so they can enjoy their garden.

    • Keeping Chickens says:

      Clean them out regularly, pick up droppings and use a ground sanitising powder?

    • Felicity says:

      I put sand in the bottom of my chicken shed. Builders sand put down quite thick. rake off the poo every day or so, I have a big sieve to get out the lumps and pop them in a compost bin. it works like a cat litter tray. It is much cleaner and healthier for the chickens as they can clean their feathers in the dust, smells less, less mites. well good!

  4. Kevin Spruce says:

    I am going to keep chickens, at what age should I get the birds?

    • Keeping Chickens says:

      It depends on your set up – but most people start with pullets at point of lay (female chickens under a year old at 15-18 weeks old).

  5. Kate Steele says:

    We have an allotment plot on which we keep 9 chickens, but other plots on the same allotment site also keep chickens. If the total amount add up to more than 50 should they be registered?

    • Keeping Chickens says:

      I don’t believe the regulations account for things like this, but it might be a good idea for one person to register.

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