DEFRA: The Poultry Register

DEFRA keep a Poultry Register and it is compulsory to register with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) 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.


Over the last few years, being registered has been useful because you will receive advice and notifications if there are any outbreaks of AI (Bird Flu) and if there is a requirement to keep birds under cover because of restrictions, they will let you know.

  • You must register if you go over 50 birds at any time but you can also register voluntarily if you keep less than this: remember to consider chicks and any excess birds that are hatched for the dinner table or to sell 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!

You can register by going to this page:


    • Unless there are covenants in your house deeds (often added by house builders or local councils) then no, not in the UK.

  1. Hi there I was wondering if any vaccinations and/ regular checks required while keeping 50 chickens or more on a allotment site

    • I don’t believe there are requirements for this, although 50 or more chickens means registering with the DEFRA Poultry Register.

    • Technically, that’s correct. After the BSE outbreak, the rules were changed so that food from kitchens wasn’t fed to animals.
      You can feed ‘allotment scraps’ and ‘garden scraps’ staright to your chickens, but if you take them into your kitchen, you can’t then take them out and feed them to your chickens…

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