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Keeping of Poultry

The keeping of poultry especially chickens can reduce vegetable food waste, reward you with eggs and fertilise your garden with manure.

Potential issues with the keeping of poultry can arise when impacts on neighbouring properties occur. This can result in Council receiving complaints regarding noise, odour, rodents and stormwater runoff. Poultry need to be kept to standards that ensure they do not pose a potential risk to human health.

By following the provisions outlined on this web page and considering your neighbours, you can keep poultry safely and minimise the impacts they may have on others.


How must poultry be kept in residential areas?

Keeping of poultry including chickens is considered exempt development within most residential zones in Lithgow City Council, subject to the provisions of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 .

The provisions under Exempt Development for fowl & poultry houses include

  • On residential zoned land (except Zone R5) , no more than five (5) fowl/poultry and no roosters
  • For land within Zone R5, no more than ten (10) fowl/poultry
  • fowl/poultry housing is to be located in the rear yard, with a floor area of less than 15m2
  • the housing of fowl/poultry (including guinea fowls) is to be located at least 4.5 metres from any dwelling, public hall, school or premises used for the manufacture, preparation, sale or storage of food
  • housing is to be enclosed to prevent the escape of poultry

You can check the zoning of your property to determine how many fowl/poultry you can keep, by using the following property enquirer tool:  Use the NSW Government Planning Portal to check your zoning


What if the keeping of poultry is causing impacts on neighbouring land?

Should the keeping of fowl/poultry including chickens become a public health or noise issue in any area, Council needs to consider the requirements under the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005. These requirements include public nuisance or health risks and the location and/or construction of poultry houses and yards. 

In the event of a public nuisance or health risk being established by Council, additional requirements on the owner of the land under Section 124 of the Local Government Act 1993, may be imposed.

These requirements may include

  • Poultry yards must be kept clean and free from offensive odours
  • Poultry yards must be enclosed to prevent the escape of poultry.
  • Runoff from the pen must not be allowed to enter a neighbouring property

We can help you

If you are experiencing any health or noise issues associated with the housing of chickens and poultry, you can Contact Council’s Rangers on