In Wingecarribee Shire we encourage people to live sustainably and keeping poultry can be an important part of a sustainable household.
Poultry includes all types of birds raised for their meat or egg production, this includes pigeons, ducks, chickens, swans, quails, peacocks etc.
If you have the space, some laying hens in the backyard can be a lot of fun, providing you with fresh eggs and a perfect use for kitchen peelings and garden waste. You also end up with some useful chicken poo to put on the vegetable garden, or add to the compost heap.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind before getting your hens. Firstly there are some regulations, setting out the legal requirements for keeping poultry.
Provided your hen house meets the requirement of the SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development Codes), you will not need to get approval from council.
Commercial breeding or boarding however does require development consent.
The common noise fact sheet has information on the SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development Codes). This includes the number of poultry for different land zones and where rooster can be kept. If these requirements cannot be met, you will need the approval of council.
There are also a few common sense aspects to keeping hens as well.
- Roosters and neighbours don’t mix. At Council we don’t get many complaints about hens, but we certainly have to deal with some neighbour disputes about noisy roosters. Our advice if you live in town is - don’t have a rooster.
- Talk to your neighbours before buying hens and think about them when siting the hen house. It really is best, unless the neighbours don’t mind, not to have your chickens running up to their boundary fence.
- Check the neighbourhood noise fact sheet to make sure keeping chickens can meet the SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development Codes).
- Keep your hen house clean to discourage vermin and odours.
In addition to the SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development Codes), the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 Schedule 2 relates to poultry including chickens, ducks and other fowl:
Part 5 Division 2 - Keeping of poultry
19 Poultry not to be nuisance or health risk
(1) Poultry must not be kept under such conditions as to create a nuisance or to be dangerous or injurious to health.
(2) Poultry yards must at all times be kept clean and free from offensive odours.
For further information on keeping poultry please visit:
DPI Poultry and Birds
One of the best ways to resolve a noise issue is to talk with the person responsible. Where this doesn't achieve an outcome you could also undertake free mediation with the Community Justice Centres.
If talking with the person does not solve the issue, a complaint can be made to Council using the neighbourhood noise complaint form.
Once you have submitted your complaint, you will be contacted to discuss the information.
Council's Neighbourhood Noise Policy describes how noise complaints are managed.