There are no national rules or regulations in the UK that stop you from keeping small numbers (less than 50) chickens however there are some regulations to check first.
- 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. There is more information on my page: DEFRA: The Poultry Register
- By-Laws: There are occasionally by-laws for certain properties that prevent people from keeping livestock. Check with your local council that this doesn’t apply to you.
- Covenants: There are sometimes covenants put in place by housing authorities and councils to stop tenants from keeping chickens at their property. This seems to be a local decision as there are no national restrictions.
- House Deeds: Again, the deeds of some properties may state that you are not allowed to keep chickens (again, often stated as keeping livestock). If your property is free of restrictions, you should be able to keep chickens without a problem, however do keep in mind that local residents may complain to the council about noise levels if you keep a cockerel.
There are a number of Laws, regulations and requirements that can affect you (in the UK) and I have created a number of sub pages to cover these briefly: