Keeping Hens on your Plot
If you wish to keep hens on your plot, you must first obtain permission from the Committee; and sign an agreement stating your intention to maintain the hens to a suitable standard.
This agreement will require you to check the hens daily, provide competent care and management; and have the knowledge and skills to ensure the hens’ wellbeing.
The following guidelines are part of our Keeping Poultry Agreement.
As well as containment, appropriate housing is essential to ensure the welfare of hens and to allow expression of their natural behaviours (e.g. scratching).
The total housing should be as large as possible, but must not exceed our site limit of
160 ft2/15.0 m2. The housing should consist of :-
Minimum of 2 ft2/0.2m2 per hen.
Adequate protection from predators (e.g. foxes)
Clean, dry bedding material to absorb moisture (e.g. wood shavings, straw, etc.).
Warmth during the colder months and shade during summer.
Adequate, draught free ventilation.
Perches, typically 3-5cms wide with rounded edges, to enable them to grip.
Nest boxes for egg laying.
Minimum area of 4 ft2/0.4m2 per hen.
Plenty of space to allow your hens to dig, dust themselves and flap their wings.
You must provide your hens with :-
- A plentiful supply of cool, clean, fresh water.
- Feed appropriate to the age and species of the hen, and fed in sufficient quantities and frequency, to maintain their nutrition and good health.
- Insoluble grit to aid digestion.
Feed should be stored in a clean/dry place, and protected from rodents/insects/other pests.
You will be responsible for ensuring that your poultry are free from distress, pain, injury and disease. Suitable preventative and/or veterinary treatment must be available, if required.
In order to maintain healthy poultry, minimise odour problems and deter vermin, the run and henhouse should be thoroughly cleaned at least once per week; or more frequently if necessary.
Poultry need companionship and should be kept in groups of two or more hens.
The Control of Pollution Act 1974, forbids the keeping of cockerels on all allotment sites.