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In Wingecarribee Shire we encourage people to live sustainably and keeping poultry can be an important part of a sustainable household.
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 chook poo to pop 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 Exempt & Complying Development Codes, you will not need to get approval from council.
The full list of specifications can be obtained from:
Exempt and Complying Development Code (external link)
If these guidelines cannot be met, you will need the approval of council.
There are also a few common sense aspects to keeping hens as well.
The Local Government Act (General) Regulation 2005 schedule 2 relates to poultry and that includes fowls like laying hens, peacocks & bantams as well as poultry other than fowls like ducks, pheasants, turkeys & geese.
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.
20 Poultry not to be kept near certain premises
(1) Fowls (that is, birds of the species Gallus gallus and guinea fowls) must not be kept within 4.5 metres (or such greater distance as the council may determine in a particular case) of a dwelling, public hall, school or premises used for the manufacture, preparation, sale or storage of food.
(2) Poultry (other than fowls referred to in subclause (1)) must not be kept within 30 metres of any building referred to in subclause (1).
(3) The floors of poultry houses must be paved with concrete or mineral asphalt underneath the roosts or perches. However, this subclause does not apply to poultry houses:
(a) that are not within 15.2 metres of a dwelling, public hall or school, or
(b) that are situated on clean sand.
(4) Poultry yards must be so enclosed as to prevent the escape of poultry.
(5) The standards in this clause apply to a person only if the council has served an order under section 124 of the Act to that effect on the person.