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Keeping chickens is an activity which is growing in popularity and is both simple and rewarding. You can keep chickens as easily in a town garden as you can in the countryside. Many people get started because they like the idea of producing fresh  eggs and also think that it might be a fun and educational experience for themselves and  for their families

Chickens need daily care, just like any other pet and you cannot just disappear for a holiday without organising someone to come and care for the chickens in your absence. However, chicken care is relatively simple, and neighbours or a friend can often be bribed to keep an eye on them with the promise of some extra fresh eggs should you wish  to be away for a while.

Talking of pets, remember that any existing pets you have will suddenly have to share their lives - and garden - with the chickens. If you have cats or dogs, free-range hens may prove a bit of a temptation, but they will probably get used to each other, and if not you will then need to provide a sturdy chicken coop and run space that keep chickens in, and larger furry animals out.

Legal Requirements

Well, generally speaking if you are keeping a few hens for eggs then you aren’t going to have any problems. (Over 700 000 people in the UK already keep chickens in their gardens.)

However make sure you examine the deeds and any lease for your home - you’ll be surprised to find that some expressly forbid the keeping of livestock and chickens. In addition, your local council may have by-laws concerning chickens.
If you are seriously thinking about getting a few hens then it may be best to do a quick check and make a few phone calls just to be on the safe side.

Should you tell the neighbours?

The vast majority of people keep chickens without a cockerel, as you don’t need one for your hens to lay their eggs. In fact, unless you plan on breeding your own birds there is very little reason to keep one. Concerns about the noise levels are generally unfounded. Most hens, are really quiet during the day and apart from the usual soft clucking which is barely audible from the bottom of the garden they only make a bit of noise to proudly announce that they have laid their egg.

It's probably polite to mention it though, especially if they are the ones who will be looking after the birds when you're away.

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