Keeping chickens

Poultry such as chickens kept in captivity need a 24 hour commitment. They cannot just be a passing fancy. It is not easy to find someone with the skills needed to look after them when you are away from home. Before considering keeping any type of poultry, think carefully about the time commitment, garden space and funds you will need.

Do I need to ask for permission?

Yes. Before you make any commitments you must write to us asking for permission.

You can either:

If you would like some advice before making your application, you can contact your Housing Management Officer by email.

What else do I need to send with my application?

When you apply you will need to give us a scaled plan showing the boundaries of your garden and the position of the enclosure they will be kept in. You should also give us the specification (the type and size) of the coop.

Any structures should not take up more than one third of the garden area. Your site plan and specifications should be sent in with your application.

How many birds can I have?

We will only allow a maximum of four chickens and we do not allow you to keep cockerels due to the loud early morning calls they make, that will disturb neighbours.

Does the coop or chicken shed have to meet any special conditions?

Yes. Your coop should have:

  • at least 250 centimetres squared floor area for each bird;
  • a perch for them to stand on while they sleep;
  • an exercise space, or ‘run’; or
  • a nesting box filled with wood shavings for the hens to lay eggs.

You should keep the chicken coop clean with a regular supply of fresh bedding. You must also comply with our other conditions relating to structures within a garden area.

Are there any other conditions I have to meet?

Yes. You must follow the conditions detailed in regulation number 9 of your tenancy agreement, which relates to the keeping of animals. Please look at your tenancy agreement for full details of this regulation. Please also remember that chickens will cause damage to gardens by scratching about and uprooting and eating plants. You’ll need to make sure you keep your garden clean and tidy.

Please note that if we have any concerns about the welfare of any chickens you keep we will contact the RSPB or the RSPCA.

Barnsley MBC and Berneslai Homes will not be responsible for any costs connected with your application or the erection of a chicken coop.


What if I end my tenancy?

If you give notice to end your tenancy, you must remove the coop from your garden and put right any damage. We will recharge you if you do not do this.

If I am given permission, does it run out after a time?

We will give permission subject to a yearly review of the coop and chickens, which will include a site inspection.