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Cockerel Noise

Cockerels can be noisy and very careful consideration should be given to keeping them in residential areas. Remember you do not need a cockerel to produce eggs for the breakfast table.
When investigating complaints of cockerels crowing, the Service must establish whether a 'Statutory Noise Nuisance' is occurring.
The Service would look at:

1. Nature of the area

Whilst cockerels have been part of the English countryside for generations it is possible that keeping them in built up residential environments such as Castle Point may cause a 'Statutory Noise Nuisance'.

2. Time of day

Cockerels tend to make noise at any time of the day. However, the one trait of a cockerel is the early morning crow and it is more likely that your cockerel crowing at unsociable times is like to give rise to a Statutory Noise Nuisance.

3. Duration & Frequency

The length of time and frequency your cockerel crow has to be considered when establishing whether a 'Statutory Noise Nuisance' is occurring. If your cockerels crow for long periods of time, or frequently, it is likely that a Statutory Noise Nuisance is occurring.

How We Investigate Complaints of Crowing Cockerel(s)

1. The Service will provide the complainant with diary sheets and ask them to note down all the times that they are being disturbed. This is undertaken to identify when and how the service will investigate the complaint.
2. Upon receipt of these diary sheets, the Service will assess these and determine whether visits to witness these disturbances will be arranged or whether the use of noise monitoring equipment will be more effective.
3. Once we have investigated this matter and confirmed that the noise constitutes a Statutory Noise Nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, an Abatement Notice will be served requiring you to stop the disturbance.
4. If this Abatement Notice is not complied with, the Service may take further enforcement action against you in the Magistrates Court. If found guilty, the Court could fine you up to £5000 (domestic premises), or £20,000 (commercial/industrial premises).

As with any type of noise complaint, we will always try to work with the person being complained of before taking any enforcement action.

Practicable Advice to Minimising Crowing

1. Location of the Cockerel

It is important to ensure that your cockerel is located as far as practicable from neighbouring residential properties. This will help minimise the disturbances when your cockerel crows.

2. Cockerels Compete

If you have more than one cockerel in close proximity to one another this is likely to lead to cockerels competing with each other. This could result in more frequent disturbances from crowing. It is advised that cockerels are kept at distance in residential areas to prevent competition.

3. Cockerel Accommodation – The Coop

The keeping of cockerels in a coop at night is very important to minimise crowing noises early in the morning. Coops should be kept as dark as possible, as light entering the coop can trigger the onset of crowing.

This Service recommends owners of cockerels do not let them out the darkened coop until 8am every day.

It is also important that the size of the coop is controlled. The coop ceiling could be lowered to prevent the cockerel throwing back its head and crowing. You may also wish to try putting a shelf up in the hen house to allow the cockerel to walk around at normal height. This helps to prevent it stretching its neck to make the crowing sound.

If you wish to complain about a crowing cockerel or have had a complaint made against you please email us at or telephone us on 01268 882200 or write to/visit the Environmental Health Services at the Council Offices, Kiln Road, Benfleet, SS7 1TF for further assistance.

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