We’ve collated council by council regulations (last update, June 2018) 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. You generally can’t keep roosters without a permit, so assume that unless we’ve noted otherwise.

Most councils specify that you can’t keep poultry in flats, and some may specify extra information (not necessarily listed here because it’s buried in local law and not on the website) about housing requirements.  A fairly 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 and Maribyrnong 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.


Up to 5 poultry without a permit.


Up to 8 poultry (“geese, ducks, hens, etc”) without permit.

Glen Eira

Up to 6 poultry without a permit.

Greater Dandenong

Up to 20 poultry without permit.  Housing to be 1m from boundary.

Hobson’s Bay

10 poultry without a permit (and not in a flat or unit) and depending on noise levels you could have a rooster. Housing 1.5m from boundary and 10m from any dwelling.


Up to 5 poultry without permit (on blocks less than 1 acre).


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 4 poultry without a 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.)


Up to 5 poultry without permit.


“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).

Moonee Valley

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.


Up to 4 hens without a permit (by omission there’s no ducks, geese, turkeys, or peafowl allowed).  (Updated in 2018 from 6 poultry, however previously extremely restrictive laws on placement of housing have been removed.)

Port Philip

Up to 5 poultry 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, 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 without a permit.

City of Yarra

Up to 5 chickens without a permit.  The local laws have some requirements regarding set backs of enclosures.

61.5 A person must not keep or allow to be kept on any land a structure for the housing of poultry or pigeons (including any pen, compound or yard attached to a poultry yard of pigeon loft):

61.5.1 within the front setback to the street or the side setback to a side street (excluding a lane);
61.5.2 within a distance of two (2) meters from the boundary of any adjoining land in separate ownership or occupation; and
61.5.3 within three (3) meters from any dwelling on any adjoining land in separate ownership or occupation.

Yarra Ranges

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.