Monday, 9 January 2017

KEEPING POULTRY

Please also see previous posts on Avian Flu

QUICK CHECKLIST
Use this quick checklist to see if your arrangements for keeping chickens on your allotment are
likely to meet the requirements of Bolton Council.

Food and Water
Your poultry should have continuous access to cool, clean water and an appropriate diet that is
both plentiful and nutritional.

Housing
A clean, tidy and spacious environment should be maintained which provides adequate protection
from the weather and predators.

Health
It is your responsibility to monitor and maintain a flock free from distress, pain, injury and disease.

Feathered Friends
We expect tenants to maintain high standards of welfare for their birds in clean, tidy housing. In
this way, everyone can enjoy the presence of poultry on your Bolton Council allotment.

USEFUL CONTACTS
This leaflet only provides some basic guidelines; we strongly recommend that you seek further
advice. There are numerous organisations, books and Internet sites, which offer more detailed
information on how to enjoy and care for your chickens.
 Living with Chickens, Jay Rossier
 Keep Chickens! Barbara Kilarski
 Free-Range Poultry, Katie Thear
 The Poultry Farmer’s and Manager’s
     Veterinary Handbook, Peter W Laing
www.poultryclub.org
www.domesticfowl.co.uk
RSPCA national cruelty and advice line -
08705 555 999

Allotment Management
Contact: Neighbourhood Services
Bolton Council
Ellesmere House
Mayor Street Depot
Ellesmere Street
Bolton, BL3 5DT
(01204) 334067
e-mail: allotments@bolton.gov.uk
These guidelines have been produced in line with RSPCA recommendations.

MORE DETAILED GUIDANCE
(this (and the above) information is provided in the form of a leaflet to all new tenants by Bolton Council. The rules set out are those of the Council.

1. INTRODUCTION
This leaflet has been produced to give you some important basic guidelines as to the minimum standards expected of tenants who keep poultry (hens) on allotments.
Failure to notify the Council that you intend to keep poultry as detailed in your tenancy agreement or to meet the minimum standards in these guidelines may result in the termination of your allotment tenancy. If approved you may keep between 3 and 12 hens.
If you chose to keep animals on your allotment you must check on them daily, provide competent care and management and have the knowledge and skills to ensure the wellbeing of your animals. In addition, you are expected to keep them under proper control to avoid disturbance to others.
Bolton Council has the right to inspect livestock at anytime. If the Council has cause to investigate cases or complaints of maltreatment, costs of vets or other official inspections will be passed to the Tenant for payment.
We strongly recommend you seek further detailed guidance on keeping poultry.

2. FEED
Your chickens should have continuous and plentiful access to;
Cool, clean and fresh water 
Provision of feed of a type appropriate to the age and species of animal, fed in sufficient quantities, and sufficiently frequently, to maintain them in good health and satisfy their nutritional needs.
Insoluble grit to aid digestion
Foodstuffs should be stored and fed such that it is kept clean, tidy and properly protected from rodents and other pests

3. HOUSING
In addition to effective containment, housing is also important in ensuring the welfare of your birds and should allow the expression of natural behaviour.
Although it is advised that you make the housing as large and comfortable as possible, as a minimum, the accommodation will be expected to compromise of;

A HENHOUSE
Minimum size of 2 square feet (0.2m2) per
chicken
Fully enclosed shelter that provides;
 Protection from predators
    A clean, dry bedding material to absorb moisture and odour (suitable choices are wood                    shavings or straw)
Warmth during the colder months and shade
during the summer
 Adequate ventilation but draught-free
 Perches for sleeping, approximately 3-5cms wide with rounded corners to enable them to grip.
 Nest Boxes for laying eggs.

AN OUTDOOR RUN
 Minimum size of 4 square feet (0.4m2) per chicken
Should provide the chicken(s) with plenty of space to dig, dust themselves and flap their wings
Both should be regularly maintained to a good, tidy standard and free from obvious faults that
may cause injury.

4. HEALTH
You will be held responsible for ensuring that your livestock is free from distress, pain, injury and disease. Appropriate preventative and/or veterinary treatment should be available at all times.

SANITATION
In order to maintain healthy livestock and reduce odour problems, the run and hen-house should be cleaned a minimum of once a week or more frequently as necessary
With respect to the above, the deep litter system is not acceptable on Bolton Council allotments
Poultry kept on the same ground for more than a month will need regular worming Any health serious/longstanding or contagious problems MUST be reported to the Neighbourhood Services as soon as possible, as well as detail of the treatment being received and notification when the problem has cleared.

5. FEATHERED FRIENDS
Poultry need companionship and should be kept in-groups of two or more.
Provided your chickens are happy, healthy birds they should not become a nuisance to others. It is important however to be aware  of potential problems, such as dirty sites attracting vermin and causing smells.
Please note that due to potential noise problems, Cockerels are not permitted on Bolton Council Allotments.

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