Poultry (Chickens, Ducks and Geese)

Keeping poultry helps to reduce kitchen and food waste and turn it into fresh eggs and fertiliser for the garden. At the same time it provides an opportunity to teach children about the responsibilities of keeping pets.

The Number of Birds you can Keep

In Whitehorse you are allowed to keep up to a total of six chicken hens, ducks and geese (in any combination) without a permit if you have a property larger than 450 square metres. Roosters, drakes and gander are not allowed to be kept without a permit ( DOCX 119.1KB) because their crow, quacking and honking would disturb your neighbours. If you have a property smaller than 450 square metres, you have to obtain a permit ( DOCX 119.1KB) from Council to keep any poultry.

For more detailed information about the number of poultry and other animals you can have on your property without a permit, visit the Keeping and Owning Multiple Pets web page.

Housing Poultry

Poultry must be kept in a secure enclosure to prevent them getting out (or other animals getting in). Poultry require adequate shelter (not just an open pen), food and clean water at all times. Poultry food must be stored within a vermin-proof container and the poultry, poultry pen and poultry food must not cause a noise or odour nuisance to your neighbours.

To reduce the possibility of your poultry creating a nuisance, place the enclosure at the rear of your residence at least one meter from your boundary fence and more than ten metres from any neighbour’s residence, food storage or food preparation area.

Ready-made poultry pens can be bought or you could build a pen using recycled and reclaimed materials.

A chicken pen should consist of roosting and nesting quarters and an outdoor run where chickens can get plenty of exercise and sun while they scratch and bathe in the soil. Duck and geese pens should have nesting quarters and ducks would welcome a small pool or bath filled with clean water to swim in.

Make sure your poultry pen is:

  • Well protected from the elements and well ventilated.
  • Designed and built to protect your poultry from feral and domestic predators, such as dogs, feral cats and foxes with predator barriers including underneath. This is particularly important as night time.
  • Cleaned at least once a week. Old bedding materials and waste from the pen can be added to the compost.