Thinking of keeping poultry...there is a few things you need to know first!

Before choosing to keep poultry such as chickens, bantams, ducks, geese and guinea fowls in the City of Canning, consideration must be given to the impact on surrounding residential and commercial premises and the welfare of the birds themselves.

The City of Canning’s Health Local Law

The City’s Health Local Law states poultry may NOT be kept at any of the following areas:

  • Any lot less than 1000m2 in area;
  • Lots zoned or developed for group housing; or
  • Commercial or industrial zones.

Please read the above list carefully as poultry are prohibited in most residential areas of the City. However, if your property meets these criteria then up to six (6) chickens may be kept in accordance with the outlines below:

The poultry must be kept within a secure enclosure or chicken run with the following setbacks:

  • 5 metres from side and rear property boundaries;
  • 5 metres from windows of habitable rooms and external doors of dwelling;
  • 15 metres from the street, or commercial premises were food is prepared

A properly constructed structure or hen house with an impervious graded floor is located within the enclosure.

The enclosure and structure is kept clean and free from accumulations of dirt, waste food, faeces and other matter likely to create odours and attract flies, vermin, rodents and other vectors of diseases.

Up to twelve (12) poultry may be kept if the owner or occupier is a member of a poultry club.

The Department of Agriculture and Food publishes a GardenNote Keeping Poultry in the Backyard No.22, 2004which provides additional details of constructing a suitable enclosure, structure and advice on keeping poultry. The note is available from the website

Certain types of poultry create an additional nuisance to neighbouring properties due to their size, noise and wandering habits so the following poultry may only be kept in rural, special rural or special residential zones:

  • Roosters;
  • Goose or Gander;
  • Turkey;
  • Peacock or peahen.

Spreading disease

Prospective and current owners should be aware of the potential for poultry and the pests attracted to poultry enclosures to spread serious disease.

The City’s Health Local Law is designed to provide barriers between poultry and humans. Diseases include Salmonella poisoning from droppings, lung infections from fungus and other diseases carried by flies and rats. In countries where bird flu outbreaks have occurred, initial infections have commenced in children of households keeping poultry. Those keeping poultry need to take steps to ensure their own health and safety when entering poultry enclosures for feeding, cleaning and maintenance purposes:

  • Avoid breathing dust from poultry enclosures and wear a dust mask;
  • Clean up poultry droppings and contaminated bedding. A compost bin with a lid located within the enclosure is a good idea;
  • Discourage children handling birds and keep beaks away from the face;
  • Wash hands thoroughly after leaving poultry enclosure;
  • Do not allow poultry to wander or leave droppings near dwelling houses.

Please contact the City’s Environmental Health Officers on 1300 422 664 for more information.

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