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Welfare standards for poultry on allotments

The allotment terms and conditions clearly set out the regulations around keeping livestock. The following standards are designed to be read in conjunction with the terms and conditions.

Expected minimum standards

As a minimum it is expected that plot holders provide a coop, a run and clean water and adequate food on a daily basis.

Coop and run

The coop and run combined must not exceed 25% of the total plot size, with the coop not exceeding 10 foot by 6 foot. Each bird must have at least 4 square feet of floor space. The run must provide an area of at least the same size as the coop.

The coop should:

  • Be dry and well-ventilated
  • Be cleaned and disinfected regularly
  • Have a floor covered with dry material (e.g. wood shavings or straw) and topped-up or replaced when needed

Perches

Perches should be provided and should be 3 to 5 centimetres wide with rounded edges and provide enough space for all birds to comfortably roost at the same time (from 15 centimetres per bird).

Nesting boxes

A separate nesting box should be provided for egg laying hens. The box should be enclosed draught-free and lined with clean, dry, comfortable nesting material (e.g. straw or wood shavings).

Dry soil

Chickens should have access to dry soil where they can dust-bathe and forage.

Grit

A suitable insoluble grit should be provided to help digestion.

Further information

As a reference, the RSPCA offers advice on keeping chickens and their advice should be considered as the guiding standard. Any concerns over the welfare of livestock on Council-owned or managed land may be reported to the RSPCA.

Updated: 19 November 2021

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