Keeping chickens

Keeping chickens is a great way to maintain a supply of fresh eggs, recycle your food scraps and help control garden weeds and insects.

In New South Wales, it is legal to keep chickens in your backyard but there are restrictions on how many chickens you can keep and how you can house them.

Number of chickens

Under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008, no more than 10 chickens can be kept in large lot residential properties.

Chicken coops

By law, your chicken coop or poultry house must be:

  • limited to a floor area of 15m2
  • a maximum height of 3m above ground level (existing)
  • located in the rear yard
  • limited to one per property
  • a distance of 3m from the boundary of
  • located at least 4.5m from any dwelling, public hall, school or premises used for the manufacture, preparation, sale or storage of food
  • made of materials that blend with the environment and are non-reflective
  • adequately drained
  • paved with concrete or mineral asphalt or situated on clean sand underneath the roosts or perches
  • enclosed to prevent poultry from escaping
  • kept clean and free from offensive odours at all times.

A poultry house can be built or installed on land in a residential zone but not if the property is:

  • a heritage item or a draft heritage item, or
  • land in a foreshore area.

You should also note:

  • Council does not permit the keeping of roosters in residential areas.
  • Consideration should be given to the impact your chicken coop will have on neighbouring properties.
  • Water from your chicken pen must not be allowed to enter a neighbouring property.