Many of us dream of a life that involves waking up to fresh eggs and cute chickens pecking about in the backyard. While this may be a common reality for those who live in more rural areas, for inner-city and suburban dwellers, this practice is a little less common. People in suburbia might be wondering about things such as just how many chickens can I have? And, what are the laws surrounding keeping chickens in the backyard?
In this article, we take a look at some of the laws behind keeping backyard chooks in residential areas, and some other tips that might come in handy for those new to chickens.
Chickens can make great pets for kids and adults alike. They are affectionate creatures and are low-maintenance and low-cost animals to keep. Chooks can also help you control pests in the yard, as they love to snack on slugs and lawn grubs. They also enjoy food scraps, and produce manure that can be used to fertilise the garden! Then there’s also the egg perk! The number of eggs a chicken produces can depend on the breed. Breeds like the Rhode Island Red can lay up to 300 eggs a year, while Silkies can lay around 250. It can be good to work out why you are keeping chickens before you decide on the breed (or breeds) you wish to go with.
Before you go out and buy chicks or a coop, the absolute first step is to find out about the council regulations regarding keeping chickens, in your area. Regulations differ from council to council, so it’s important to check with your division of council, specifically. For example, in the Brisbane City Council, residential areas of less than 800m2 are allowed to keep a maximum of six chickens (as long as this abides by the additional guidelines), while the City of South Perth Council allows those in residential areas to keep up to 12 chickens (keeping in mind additional guidelines must also be met).
While many councils will let those living in built-up locations keep chickens, fewer are in support of keeping roosters in residential areas. Roosters can be pretty noisy and can disrupt neighbours who live close-by. Below, we have outlined a few examples of the rooster guidelines outlined by various councils, but keep in mind it’s important to check with your specific council before proceeding.
Chickens can make wonderful pets, provide food for your family, and help keep your backyard healthy and pest free! If you would like to find out more about keeping chickens on your residential property, check out your local council’s website for the rules and guidelines specific to where you live.
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