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Keeping birds and poultry

If you wish to keep poultry (including chickens, turkey and geese) on your property, and you are not an exempt commercial business, you must comply with the following rules as set out in our Local laws.

Number of birds you can keep

If you own or occupy a property in an urban zone that is smaller than 0.2 hectares, you cannot keep:

any live poultry except in a bird enclosure

  • more than 2:
    • drakes, or
    • ducks, or
    • turkeys, or
    • geese
  • more than 10 head of poultry unless you have a permit, where 1 head of poultry equal one of the following:
    • 1 chicken
    • 3 pigeons
    • 3 quail
    • 1 pigeon and 2 quail
    • 2 pigeons and 1 quail
  • unless with the consent of Council, no roosters can be kept on any land in an urban residential area

The maximum number of poultry you can keep in a bird enclosure is one for every 0.5 square metres of floor area.

The only exception is where a Planning Scheme town planning permit has been issued for the keeping of birds.

Bird enclosures

Every bird enclosure on any premises must:

  • not be higher than 2.4m
  • be at least 3m from the boundary of any adjoining premises
  • be roofed and be free of vermin

If your bird enclosure does not meet these criteria, you can be issued with an on-the-spot fine of $200, and may have to pay a court imposed penalty of up to $2000.

Bird health

If you occupy a property where a bird is kept, you must ensure that:

  • any bird enclosure or bird cage is maintained so that it does not create any condition that may be offensive, dangerous to health, unsightly or a nuisance
  • any waste or other matter is not left in a place or way that it may become offensive, dangerous to health or likely to attract or harbour rodents or other vermin
  • any dead or diseased bird is immediately disposed of

Storage of food

You must store bird food in in a vermin proof container.

Help for injured native birds and wildlife

If you find an injured native bird or other wildlife, you can contact a 24-hour wildlife emergency hotline. For more information, visit the Wildlife Victoria website.