Keeping chickens

The keeping of chickens and poultry can often cause health issues with neighbouring properties such as odour, noise issues and rodent complaints. Poultry can be unhygienic, messy and difficult to keep maintained to standards which will not pose a potential risk to human health. Please consider your neighbours and your ability to minimise the impact prior to keeping chickens.

Legal requirements

The following are the minimum standards required within Waverley. These standards are gazetted in the Local Government General Regulation 2005 Part 5 Division 2 and State Environmental Planning Policy 2008 (NSW Exempt Development Code Subdivision 21).


Depending on the size of the chicken coup, Council’s relevant planning documents and tools should be consulted to ensure development approval is not required.

A chicken coup must not be constructed closer than 600mm to any boundary of an allotment and must not be supported by any dividing fence.

Conditions required on site

  1. The keeping of chickens must not create a nuisance or danger to health including but not limited to vermin, odour or noise.
  2. The keeping of chickens must be kept clean and free from offensive odours at all times.
  3. The chicken coup must be enclosed to prevent poultry escaping.
  4. The floors of the chicken coup must be paved with concrete or mineral asphalt underneath the roosts or perches. This waste water must not enter the stormwater system and must be appropriately disposed of to sewer.
  5. Chicken feed should be stored in sealed metal containers and scraps should not be left in the yard so as to attract vermin.
  6. Maximum height of 3 meters above ground level (existing).
  7. Be located in the rear yard.
  8. Not house more than 10 chickens.
  9. Must be structurally adequate.
  10. Limit of one coup per property.
  11. Requires a distance from the boundary of 3 meters.
  12. Materials used must blend with the environment and be non-reflective.

Consulting your neighbours

Waverley Council strongly suggests consultation with your neighbours regarding your proposal prior to keeping chickens on your premises. Discussing and informing your neighbour(s) has many benefits, including

(a) General neighbour awareness and notification of planned housing

(b) A forum to discuss any issues which concern the neighbours.

You should discuss any health issues such as odour, vermin and noise which may arise once the poultry are housed at your premises.

This discussion between neighbours may lead to mutual agreement rather than requiring Council intervention and imposing orders to remove the chickens if a complaint is received.

Keeping roosters

The housing of roosters is not encouraged or supported with the Council area. This is due to the additional impact of early morning crowing, which is commonly the immediate reason an Order is served for the removal of the rooster.

The nature of a rooster is to make noise early in the mornings and this in turn disturbs the peace of the neighbouring premises/residents. Roosters are generally farm animals and the built urban city environment does not provide conditions which allow for the housing of them.


Failure to comply with these requirements may result in Council serving an Order or Emergency Order for the immediate removal of the chickens under the Local Government Act 1993.


For more information, contact Council's Customer Service Centre on 9083 8000 or email

This information is for the keeping of chickens only and does not relate to other poultry.