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Chicken coop in the city: what regulations to have chickens in an urban space?


Even if you own your land, you don’t always do what you want. In any case, as an individual, installing a henhouse in an urban area in order to breed chickens implies compliance with the regulations in force because professional breeders are not alone in being subject to certain constraints. They are just different from case to case. Strictly obey the law will avoid suffering financial penalties and being forced to part with his farmyard. Let’s see what exactly this regulation consists of, knowing that it is fundamental to respect the Town Planning Code but also the Rural Code and Maritime Fisheries.

Chicken coop in town with a private individual: town planning rules

Anyone wishing raising chickens in urban areas must comply with the rules of town planning. To know them, the only thing to do is to go to the town hall of your municipality because they sometimes vary from one city to another. As the installation of solid henhouses is more and more frequent among individuals living in urban and peri-urban areas, a certain number of town halls have “laid” orders in order to limit the multiplication of shelters serving as henhouses.

The rule generally applied is identical to that for the construction of garden sheds. It is therefore quite variable since it is linked to zoning on which the dwelling in question depends. We therefore refer to Local Urban Plan (or PLU), or even to a specific local planning regulations. Zoning is indicated by letters, for example:

  • 1AU: subdivision zone,
  • 2AU: future area to be built,
  • UB: urban area,
  • N: natural and forest area,
  • A: agricultural area …

This list is far from being exhaustive. We can also be on a classified site or a remarkable heritage site… Areas where it is generally not allowed to set up a chicken coop. But it deserves to learn.

Having chickens in town: prior declaration of work or building permit?

Raising chickens requires the establishment of a shelter at least mobile or, better, a real chicken coop in hard, capable of protecting the gallinacea in all seasons against climatic variations of course, but also against predators.

The hen house area is THE criterion to consider in order to know what to do with your town hall before starting the work. Here are a few points what the Town Planning Code stipulates.

  • Chicken coop in town a surface less than 5 m²: no special procedure required.
  • Urban chicken coop area included between 5 and 20 m²: it is necessary to file a prior declaration of work. In an urban area covered by a POS (Plan d’Occupation des Soils) or by a PLU (Local Urban Planning Plan), the maximum area increases to 40 m² when the henhouse must be attached to the house because in this case , the work to be carried out concerns an existing construction. But be careful: if at the end of the works the footprint or the surface of the house exceeds 150 m², the threshold must not exceed 20 m².
  • Floor area of ​​a chicken coop in an urban area greater than 20 m² : the regulations require you to submit a request for building permit.

The individual who lives in a subdivision must refer to the internal regulations. Attention, within some condominiums where is he forbidden to breed chickens in your garden, whether you are an owner or a tenant.

However, there is flexibility regarding the mobile hen house because this shelter can only accommodate 10 dwarf hens maximum or 5 large breed hens. It is generally not required to file a prior declaration with your town planning department. For safety, however, it is strongly recommended to find out beforehand because the rules are always subject to change.

Chicken coop in town: what about the regulations imposed by the Rural and Maritime Fishing Code?

The Rural Code ensures enforce animal welfare whatever they are, and is therefore essential for people wishing to raise chickens in their garden. Thus, we find for example:

  • The prohibition of ill-treatment of his hens,
  • The obligation to place any animal in ” conditions compatible with the biological imperatives of its species“,
  • The obligation to fulfill all the requirements:
    • public hygiene,
    • of security,
    • respect for nature.
  • To apply its obligations related to the rights of third parties.

In other words, the hens that we want to raise must be well cared for and benefit from a living space that meets all their biological needs. Their owner must respect public hygiene rules by not storing the manure in the immediate vicinity of a water point for do not impact ecosystems, or the neighboring property or public space for that matter, and do everything possible not to create nuisances in its neighborhood.

Yet if we stick to one pleasure breeding, the location of the henhouse in relation to neighboring dwellings is not linked to any particular obligation except that its gallinaceae must not be able to pass on the land of other owners, nor on the public highway and that in case of damage caused by hens, it’s their breeder who is responsible. It is advisable to close the space which is dedicated to birds.

The location chosen to install a chicken coop therefore takes a lot of common sense. Better to move your henhouse away from your neighbor’s window so that he does not have to endure any bad smells or the incessant cackling of the layers and the crowing of a rooster, however melodious it may be. On this last point, moreover, the law imposes rules. It should in fact be known that noise (diurnal and nocturnal) of any type whatsoever are absolutely prohibited and are punished.

The owner of the hens must in addition be in good standing in terms of public liability. It is therefore important to contact your insurer to find out if you are well covered.

Regarding thefamily breeding, hens are classified as companion animals (or pleasure animals). This means that the number of birds is, in this area, restricted. Thus, beyond 50 hens held over a period of at least 30 consecutive days, the individual is considered by the Rural and Maritime Fisheries Code as a professional breeder. Consequently, he has the obligation to declare his installation and to comply strictly speaking to departmental health rules.

It is very important to be well informed about all the regulatory points which are necessary for a family breeding when one wishes to install a henhouse in town. A quick trip to the town hall of your city can be very useful so as not to neglect anything.

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