Council poultry regulations in Melbourne
We’ve collated council by council regulations (last update, June 2017) for keeping poultry in the cities of Melbourne. These change from time to time so please check the links. In summary it seems all cities in Melbourne allow some poultry without a permit, except Stonnington. Most specify that you can’t keep poultry in flats, and many specify extra information not listed here about housing requirements. You generally can’t keep roosters without a permit. A common law is that all poultry houses should be at least 1m or 1.5m from the neighbours’ fence, although some councils are more restrictive (Whittlesea, Maribyrnong and Moreland in particular). Follow the links and you will find out more. If you notice any broken links or changed information, please let us know. Thanks!
See also our pages on:
Up to 10 poultry without a permit.
Up to 10 poultry without a permit.
Rooster, peafowl or guinea fowl: not allowed.
Chickens and pheasants: 6.
Turkeys, ducks and geese: 2.
Poultry other than those specified above: 4.
Up to 10 poultry without a permit on non-farming land, no roosters.
Up to 6 poultry without a permit.
Up to 20 poultry without permit, except roosters. Housing to be 1m from boundary.
10 chickens without a permit (and not in a flat or unit). Housing 1.5m from boundary and 10m from any dwelling.
Up to 5 poultry without permit (on blocks less than 1 acre (4000 sq metres)).
There are different rules for different sized properties. Between 530m2 and 4000m2 (~1 acre): up to 10 poultry and two live game birds (peacocks, pheasants etc) without permit. See local laws link below for more info or call the Local Laws Department on 1300 653 356.
Up to 5 poultry without permit.
Up to 10 poultry without permit. Not allowed to access the front yard, and housing must be more than 18 metres from any road to which the land has a frontage and 3 metres from any other road. (Oct 2017 update: This is fairly restrictive but locals recently successfully campaigned for removal of even more restrictive laws relating to proximity to boundaries and dwellings.)
“There are no restrictions in regards to the proper housing and maintenance of poultry in the City of Melbourne municipality. It is worth noting however, if there are any complaints received – our Health Services branch are required to investigate any suspected health or animal cruelty breaches.” (Personal communication).
Up to 10 poultry without a permit, none in flat/units.
14 Nov 2013 update: buried in the local law but not on the above web page there is reference to quite restrictive laws! Structures for the ‘housing’ of poultry to be 18m from roads to which property has frontage, 3m from other roads, 15m from any dwellings. Chook house & attached yard to be 1.5m from fencing.
Up to 5 poultry without a permit, no roosters.
Up to 6 poultry without a permit, no roosters, geese, turkeys, or peafowl. The guidelines suggest a chook house can not be less than 1.5 metres from another fence, or 7 metres from a dwelling although we’ve also discovered some conflicting information, which say that the chook house should be 6 metres from either boundary or dwelling. In that case your backyard needs to be at least 13m wide with the chook house in the middle, which would be the most restrictive laws on this front that we know of.
Up to 4 hens, no roosters, without a permit.
- “Poultry or animal housing or a similar structure must be located on the property so that the amenity of the area or other premises is not affected by nuisance, noise or odour experienced because of proximity of the poultry or animal housing.
- “An owner or occupier must not construct or use any poultry or animal housing on any property unless it has adequate roofing, drainage, is rodent proof and has a floor paved with impervious material.
- “All poultry and animal housing must be maintained so that it does not cause a nuisance or offensive conditions or harbour vermin.”
Permit required for all poultry, the only city within Greater Melbourne where this is true. “Please contact the Council’s Animal Management Department on Ph: 03 8290 1333 regarding applications for the keeping of Poultry.”
Up to 6 poultry excluding roosters without a permit on ‘large’ properties only. Large we’re told is defined as having no less than 200sqm of available land (excluding dwelling) available — not necessarily all dedicated to the chooks.
Up to 10 hens, no roosters in urban zones on blocks under 0.2 hectares. The chicken enclosure should be located at least 3m from neighbours boundary, and you should store chook food in a vermin-free container.
Up to 6 poultry (other than rooster, fowl, guinea fowl, turkey, geese or ducks) without a permit.
City of Yarra
Up to 5 poultry without a permit. See the link for some info regarding set backs of enclosures.
Doesn’t seem to mention maximum poultry numbers (let us know if we’ve missed something). Chook house must be at least 6 metres from dwellings on adjoining properties.