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Reducing Cockerel and other Bird Noise

Advice to minimise noise from cockerels (or other birds)

Cockerels are not required for hens to lay eggs, and keeping cockerels in an urban environment may lead to complaints of nuisance.

If you do decide to own a cockerel, following these guidelines may reduce the likelihood of complaints:

  • Locate the cockerel as far as is practicable from neighbouring residential properties.
  • Keep cockerels in a coop at night to minimise early morning crowing. 
  • Coops should be kept as dark as possible as light entering the coop can trigger the onset of crowing.
  • Do not let cockerels out until a reasonable hour. 

    These ideas may work in the short term.  However, a cockerel will soon learn what the real time is and will probably start crowing again at first light.  Understandably, this is unacceptable for neighbours.
  • Separate cockerels from broody hens.
  • Where more than one cockerel is kept or others are located in the immediate area, this is likely to lead to cockerels competing with each other.  This can increase the amount of crowing considerably.  Ask yourself if you really need a cockerel?

Can noise from birds be a Statutory Nuisance?

Yes it can!

If the Council receives a complaint of Statutory Nuisance we have a duty to investigate.  A Statutory Nuisance is the 'material interference with the comfort and enjoyment of another's home'. In practice, the crowing would have to be excessive and unreasonable in the circumstances and significantly interfere with the use and enjoyment of someone's home such as crowing for prolonged periods, frequent excessive crowing and crowing at unreasonable hours i.e. early morning or late at night.

As the owner of a cockerel or other birds, you should carefully consider whether the area in which you live is suitable to have such livestock and also carefully consider how the bird is kept.

If Sedgemoor DC believe there is a Statutory Nuisance occurring they will serve an Abatement Notice on the owners. Further information is provided on our  How we investigate a Statutory Nuisance page.

Other issues

Food and water left out for poultry may attract vermin such as rats and mice. Chicken houses may also provide shelter for rats and mice. To prevent this happening, make it a part of your regular routine to clean the shelters and remove uneaten food. Present food to birds in a fixed and stable container rather than scattering food on the ground.  In the summer poorly kept poultry may result in unpleasant odours which can attract flies. These can become a nuisance to you and your neighbours.


Owners of poultry should take practicable steps to ensure that poultry is not allowed to stray beyond the boundary of their own land.

Sale of Eggs

Should you decide to sell your eggs to friends, over the garden gate or on a market stall it is a requirement you register as a food business. For information and to register contact 0300 303 7806.

Further more detailed information can be found by reading the following leaflets or visiting the related websites below.

How to complain about bird noise

If you wish to complain you can call us on the number below, or online here:  Report a nuisance - noise or other pollution

arrowEnvironmental Protection Act 1990 arrowChartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) arrowDepartment for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs