The prevention of Damage By Pests Act

According to the prevention of damage by pests act, you are required to notify the Council of any infestation of pests and are required to control pests on your property or the property you rent at all times.

Rats and mice are of course the most likely problem we encounter as poultry keepers so it is important to keep on top of them or risk complaints from neighbours. It is a good idea to keep a record of what you are doing to control pests in the event of a complaint or visit from the Council with the risk of an enforcement notice or worst still, a court case.

If you don’t control them, the Council can enforce you to do it and if you still don’t, they will come in and do it for you and then you’ll pick up the bill for their costs.

For more information on controlling pests, see my page on Rats and Mice


  1. A neighbour has chickens in a field behind my house and despite taking steps to keep them out they keep flying over the fence.(which is not low). They have dug up plants, trampled on others and generally made a mess including leaving droppings all over my patio which I have to be careful not to tread into my house.
    I would like to know what my rights are and what official steps can be taken to keep these chickens out of my garden.
    I hope you can help me as I’m at a loss where to find this information .
    Thanks Jenny Stone

    • Whilst not wanting to get involved with any disputes Jenny… In the UK, I believe it’s only cats that have roaming rights. As chickens are classed as ‘Live Stock’ I would imagine legally it is no different to having sheep or cows stray onto your property and your neighbour really has a duty to stop them from doing this.

      I am not a legal person and this is in my personal opinion: I would first try to resolve this with your neighbour at a sit down meeting. Try not to do it on the door step though, they will naturally be defensive and you stand a far better chance of them acknowledging the problem if you can sit down or meet together over a cup of coffee or something. If that fails, I would try putting it in writing to them politely. If they still don’t take action, I believe you are perfectly reasonable and within your rights to complain to Environmental Health. It might not be the correct department, I don’t really know but a phone call will soon tell you. Be sure to take photos to back up your claims and keep a record / diary of when this is happening so it is clear that it isn’t a once every 6 month event.

      You could ask your neighbour to clip one wing (cutting the primary feathers as shown in this article: Clipping a Chickens Wing) then that -should- stop them flying if done properly. This can only be done when feathers are fully grown and needs to be repeated every year after the moult.

  2. Put a few egg boxes in your garden and encourage them to lay their eggs for you. Your neighbours will soon stop them coming over your garden lol

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