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Poultry Keeping

Poultry (chickens, ducks and geese) keeping is becoming more popular, but neighbours may have concerns about it.

These concerns may include:

  • the sound of cockerels welcoming the dawn each day;
  • potential for unpleasant smells; and
  • the possibility of attracting vermin

Concerns about problems are always best discussed informally with the owner first. Often, some understanding between you can solve or manage a problem and maintain neighbourly relationships.

Where this does not improve the situation, Environmental Health may be able to investigate. Environmental Health may take formal action in serious cases of smells or excess feed attracting vermin. However, please note that this service is not routinely delivered and intervention by Environmental Health will only be possible when levels of higher priority work permit. You can however take your own legal action to help resolve any concerns that you may have.

For cockerel noise see Animal Noise for more information, including guidance for taking your own legal action.


For advice on poultry keeping, see our  Information Sheet on keeping poultry at home. [40KB]  and Scottish Government welfare guidance (opens new window).