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legal and environmental question/s
Thu 9-Aug-12
11:28 am
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Heti

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Hi again, I was wondering if you could help or direct me to where I should look for answers to these pro blems I now find I have.

I have two chickens in my back garden.  They live in a coop and run and have access to some of the garden to scratch around in.  My neighbour says they are environmental issues about me keeping them within my garden but she has not been clear and think she is going to a solicitor!  My questions are:

are there regulations about how close to a house you can/not keep chickens

are there regulations about noise

 

I clean the chicken coop almost every day, I replace the straw in the run every fortnight, rodents cannot get to the food stuffs, I dig their plot 2 or 3 times a week and replace the soil often.  I open the coop at 7 in the morning and the chickens sing their 'I've laid an egg' song at about 8.45.

I live in the countryside and many neighbours keep chickens, which she is not happy about either.

 

What should I do? 

Thu 9-Aug-12
11:34 am
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Ask you local council as a first step, they should be able to tell you about the by-laws.

I'll try that again!

Thu 9-Aug-12
11:55 am
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Heti

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Thank you, I will do that now.

We keep the coop and run on slabs - do you think that is necessary or is it better to have the chickens straight out on to the earth, we can dig down and put a mesh around to make it rodent proof - what do you think?  The coop is raised.

Thu 9-Aug-12
3:50 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Heti, for answers to that question you'll have to wait until Danuta and/or Hattie are around.  I don't suppose it will be long before they get back to you.

I'll try that again!

Thu 9-Aug-12
5:42 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Hallo Heti,

Some areas have special rules about keeping poultry & & other things like not putting washing out to dry. I think if there are conditions you would find them listed in your deeds to your property. Otherwise in the country you can keep them, as long as you keep them clean & deal with any problems straight away . There maybe conditions to this (like only a certain number of hens, or no cockerels). Phone the Environmetal Officer at your local council offices, they are usually the people who deal with it. They certainly get involved very fast if their is a rat problem or a complaint about the noise the cockerels make. They are very helpful, not at all scary, & will give you good advice.

 

All my three chicken coops are raised off the ground but the rats still dig tunnels in the ground underneath two of them occasionally, so you will have to keep an eye on this & put down poison (safely). I tried putting down paving but they got underneath that as well. My favourite coop is at table height, that never has attracted rats.

 

As I have never kept chickens in a city I don't know what the rules are there, but lots of people do keep them.

 

It is miserable when you have a neighbour who objects to chicken keeping. It sounds as if she is just over-reacting by threatening you with a solicitor as she should be phoning the Environmental Office if she thinks there is a problem, so you get on to them tomorrow morning & ask their advice. Make sure you tell them you only have two hens.

Good luck.  wave

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Fri 10-Aug-12
6:20 pm
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Heti

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Thank you again, I did get onto the environmental officer and told him everything about what I do in keeping the chickens and he was entirely happy with what I am doing, including the pest control.  It turned out he is a chicken keeper too and we chatted about chickens for a while after our formal bit.  He said he could not imagine that two hens would cause enough noise to be annoying or above legal decibels.  There are no by-laws or restrictions in my area and that he thought there should be no problems at all.  As long as I keep doing what I do I should be fine.

I also went to the farm where we bought the chickens and got some advice from them too, and they were very helpful.  They also thought were looking after the hens fine.

You are right about the rats getting under the slabs and we do deal with it quickly - we may have to change our run to try and cope with this in a different way.  The main thing seems to deal with the potential rat problem all the time rather than wait for the problem to be visible - proactive rather than reactive, as they say!

I hope the problem sorts itself out, I hate conflict.  If I go and talk to her she will just slam the door in my face so there is no hope there.

Thank you all so much xx

Fri 10-Aug-12
6:42 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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wave Heti, I am so pleased you are reassured about the situation. Yes I put down poison all the time.

I should write your neighbour a letter explaining that you have been in touch with the environmental officer & that you are doing all the right things & there are no restrictions about keeping a few hens in your area. I suspect she will realise there is nothing she can do about it. Keep the whole letter polite & friendly & above all keep a copy of it, in case you need it later.

I hope she behaves & stops making a fuss. 

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Fri 10-Aug-12
7:08 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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It's good to know that you are doing things properly Heti.  I think Hattie has made a perfect reply regarding writing to your neighbour.

I'll try that again!

Fri 10-Aug-12
7:57 pm
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SumpRat
Reading

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Offer her some free eggs. Can't beat the taste of fresh free range eggs.

They taste even better when free.

 

Regards

DiploRat

A well fed rat is a HappyRat    A smile a day keeps the psychiatrist away.

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