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Keeping of roosters and chickens

Keeping poultry in your backyard has many benefits, and if maintained correctly, will reduce kitchen and food waste and reward you and your garden by supplying eggs and chicken manure.

However, the keeping of chickens in backyards can also cause issues with neighbouring properties such as noise, odour and rodent complaints. Please consider your neighbours and your ability to minimise the impact your chickens may have on others, as poultry can be unhygienic, messy and difficult to keep maintained to standards which will not pose a potential risk to human health.

How must the chickens be kept?

The keeping of chickens and poultry is allowed within urban areas in Eurobodalla Shire, however you need to comply with the provisions of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 - (SEPP) and the Local Government Act 1993. Requirements for the keeping of chickens include:

  • for housing on land (other than land zoned within Zone R5), no more than five (5) fowl/poultry and no roosters
  • for housing on land within Zone R5, no more than ten (10) fowl/poultry
  • fowl/poultry housing is to be located in the rear yard, with a floor area of less than 15m2
  • the housing of fowl/poultry (including guinea fowls) is to be located at least 4.5 metres from any dwelling, public hall, school or premises used for the manufacture, preparation, sale or storage of food
  • housing is to be enclosed to prevent the escape of poultry
  • if the housing is located on bush fire prone land, and is less than 5 metres from a dwelling, it must be constructed of non-combustible material.

You can check the zoning of your property to determine how many chickens you can keep, by using the following property enquirer tool:

The keeping of roosters is not allowed in residential areas within Eurobodalla Shire, except in areas Zoned R5 – Large Lot Residential, however it is permitted in all rural areas.

What if the roosters and chickens are causing problems?  

Should the keeping of chickens and poultry become a public health or noise issue in any area, Council can place additional requirements on the owner of the land under Section 124 of the Local Government Act 1993, in accordance with Council's Local Orders Policy. These requirements may include:

  • the removal of the number of poultry kept
  • poultry must not be kept under such conditions as to create a nuisance or be dangerous to health
  • poultry yards must be kept clean and free from offensive odours
  • poultry yards must be enclosed to prevent the escape of poultry.

Contact us

If you are experiencing any health or noise issues associated with the housing of chickens and poultry, you can Contact Council's Rangers on: