The plan provided on the reverse of the Guidelines for Building and Maintaining Poultry Enclosures fact sheet shows the minimum requirements and materials for a poultry enclosure to accommodate 12 birds. An enclosure exceeding the dimensions of this plan will require planning approval prior to being built.
It is important that the enclosure is completely weatherproof and that the fowls are kept inside of the shelter at all times. It is recommended that a minimum of 0.4m2 of floor space per bird is provided. The shelter should be constructed to face north or east with enough roof overhand to prevent rain entering the shelter.
Adequate ventilation is also required within the shelter for comfort of the birds and to prevent odours accumulating. Furthermore a floor surface should be laid to a height of at leave 100mm above the surrounding ground level to allow for ease of cleaning.
An important aspect of reducing odours associated with the poultry enclosure is to care for the poultry litter. Offensive odours can often result from excessive litter which is not regularly disposed of, when litter is kept wet, when manure is allowed to accumulate or when kitchen scraps are thrown out on top of the litter.
The deep litter method is encouraged and if utilised correctly, the poultry should always be on dry ground. This method allows for droppings to quickly dry and form part of the litter, thus not attracting nuisance flies to the area.
Starting the Litter
Dry materials should only be used, such as straw, wood shavings and even dry lawn clippings on occasion. These materials should be spread evenly at a depth of approximately 150mm on the floor surface. After several weeks, repeat the process and continue until the depth of the litter is built up to about 250mm.
Caring for the Litter
It is essential that the litter is kept dry at all times, therefore the poultry's drinking trough should be placed outside of the shelter. A hole cut through the shelter wall will allow for the fowls to drink without wetting their litter. Occasional raking and throwing wheat under the perches will encourage the fowls to scratch amongst the litter. If cared for correctly this litter will last for up to a year. After this time you will have a good supply of garden fertilizer. A small amount of the old litter should be used to begin the new litter.
All wastes including seeds, feathers, dead birds and faecal matters should be placed in a plastic bag and disposed of immediately into an approved receptacle or directly in to the rubbish bin. The receptacle is to have a tight fitting lid to prevent access by flies, vermin and other pests.
Fly baits and fly paper are encouraged to be placed inside of the shelter out of reach of fowls. Fly baits and papers can be easily accesses from hardware stores. It is important that these baits are regularly checked and replaced. Rat bait surrounding the poultry enclosure is encouraged to detract vermin. To prevent enclosure, it is essential that all feed is stored in sealed air tight containers.
For further information, please contact Council's Environmental Health Department on 8408 1111.