Chickens

A repository for reference information and links on a range of chicken related topics…

Housing

There is no set rule for this, but if you were housing 4 chickens, I would not go below 6feet x 3feet as a minimum.
(ref: http://www.downthelane.net/keeping-your-own-chickens-faqs.php)

For chickens raised to lay eggs, Soil Association organic rules do not allow more than six birds per square metre indoors, with a maximum flock size of 2,000 – layers spend at least a year in their accommodation and so need more space.

Outside space

one hen per 4m2  (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_range)

General web links

From DEFRA

The stocking density must not exceed nine laying hens per m² of usable area.
(ref: The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2007/2078/contents/made )

 

Code of recommendations for the welfare of livestock: laying hens

http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/pb7274-laying-hens-020717.pdf

 

From RSPCA Education website (ref: http://www.science-ethics-animals.org.uk/teachers/value/farm/suppinfo.cfm)

Free-range

For poultry, such as chickens, there is a legal definition of what free-range means.
For meat chickens:
  • there should be no more than 13 chickens per square metre
  • chickens must be 56 days old before they are slaughtered
  • they must have continuous daytime access to open-air runs, comprising an area mainly covered by vegetation, for at least half their lifetime.
For egg-laying hens:
  • each bird should have at least 250cm2 of litter
  • there should be no more than nine hens per square metre
  • birds must have perches, allowing 15cm of perch per hen
  • there must be at least 10cm of feeder for each bird and at least one drinker for every 10 birds
  • there must be one nest for every seven birds, or 1m2 of nest space for every 120 birds
  • water and feeding troughs must be raised so food is not scattered.

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