Poultry in residential areas

Residents who wish to keep poultry in residential areas must ensure that the poultry do not cause a nuisance to neighbours. 


Affected by issues with chickens

What can I do if my neighbour’s poultry are causing me issues?

These matters are most commonly one to one neighbour disputes and can be addressed by simply speaking with your neighbour to resolve the issue.

A lot of the time the poultry owner may be unaware of the impact the poultry is having on their neighbours.

If speaking with your neighbour fails to resolve the issue then alternative avenues such as private legal action or mediation via a Community Justice Centre are available. 

As a general principle the City of Coffs Harbour will not pursue legal action unless it is considered that such action will benefit the wider public interest.  An example would be if the whole neighbourhood was impacted. 


Owners of chickens

Residents who wish to keep poultry must ensure that the poultry do not cause a nuisance to neighbours.

Please consider the effects on your neighbours in regards to noise, hygiene and roaming.  

Numbers of chickens

Three or four chickens will lay enough eggs for a family of four per week.

Too many chickens may lead to excessive odour and noise issues and an overall loss of amenity to neighbouring properties.

Ensure appropriate sizing of enclosures (and include shade) to maintain a good health and wellbeing of the chickens.

Consider the size and location of the enclosure in relation to neighbouring properties.

  • Can you guarantee the keeping of poultry will not cause an issue to your neighbours? It would be better to consult with your neighbours before setting up the poultry enclosure and encourage them to speak with you if they notice any impacts of the poultry.

  • Compromise to avoid conflict.

Managing faeces and food waste

Bird faeces can cause offensive odours and attract rodents and other pests. Spilt seed and food scraps can also attract rodents. 

Enclosures must be maintained in a clean condition.

Use seed feeders instead of open plates or trays and secure your seed supply in airtight containers. 

Install a droppings board beneath the perches where the birds will roost to catch and remove the faeces, making it easier to keep the enclosure clean.

  • Do you have time to clean the enclosures daily if required? 

  • How will you dispose of the waste?

  • Where will you store the waste until the fortnightly refuse collection?

  • If you intend to use faeces as fertilizer…is spreading the faeces on your garden beds likely to lead to odours, flies etc that will affect your neighbours? 

Roosters should not be kept in residential areas

Hens do not need roosters to lay eggs. Roosters mean chicks, so what are you going to do with them? Roosters can also be aggressive and attack people and they crow at all hours of the day and night. Crowing roosters WILL lead to neighbourhood complaints.

Only purchase poultry that is old enough to have the gender determined and avoid roosters.