top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
arrow down

What rules are there for keeping hens in our garden in France?

The number of hens you can keep and the size of the henhouse varies depending on your region

You should take care to have humane conditions and an appropriate number of birds for the space so as not to infringe animal welfare rules Pic: Moonborne / Shutterstock

Reader question: We would like to keep hens in our garden. Are there any particular rules governing this in France?  J.L.

Rules on the right to keep hens can vary depending on local bylaws so first check with your mairie if this is allowed. 

It is usually allowed in more rural areas but not necessarily in towns and on housing estates. In some areas there may not be an outright ban but, for example, specific rules on how many hens you can keep. 

As a maximum, you cannot keep more than 50 as an ‘amateur’, though we would presume that this is not your plan.

Note also that you cannot sell eggs unless you have an agricultural business.

Otherwise, depending on the size of the henhouse you plan to install, it could fall under the planning rules.

Nothing is needed if it is less than 5m2 but above that you need to make a déclaration préalable de travaux prior declaration to the mairie. Permission is given tacitly if there is no opposition within a month (two months in certain protected areas).

You should also consider any noise and smell aspects to avoid nuisance complaints from neighbours. Keep the henhouse clean and avoid having hens too close to other properties and, of course, you will need to construct an enclosure to avoid the hens wandering out of your property.

You should also take care to have humane conditions and an appropriate number of birds for the space so as not to infringe animal welfare rules. In the event of a bird flu outbreak, you must comply with government recommendations.

Related articles

Which French departments have more cows, pigs and sheep than people?

French court orders 4G antenna switch-off over cow health concerns

Rising inflation blamed for increase in pet abandonment in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now