Complaints about crowing cockerels increase in Stroud

Complaints about crowing cockerels have risen in the Stroud area, the district council said.

The council dealt with 13 cases during the whole of 2009, compared with 14 in the first six months of this year.

It is believed the recession, or a desire to eat home-produced food, has led to an increase in the number of people keeping chickens.

Owners have been warned if the noise does constitute a nuisance, they face court action or a fine of up to £5,000.

First light

A council spokesman said: "The problem commonly arises when the hens are accompanied by one or more cockerels.

"Cockerels can be very vocal and tend to crow from first light which, at this time of year, can be as early as 0445 BST."

The complaints have tended to come from estates where houses are located fairly close together and have small garden plots.

Sometimes, it applies where two or three small cottages are close together in a rural area.

Owners are advised to discuss with their neighbours in advance of any plans to keep chickens and to site the birds as far away as possible from nearby properties.

More on this story