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Keeping chickens and birds

Keep your chickens and birds happy and healthy with strong enclosures, well-managed litter and vermin control. Here are some handy hints and tips for keeping poultry in the City of Charles Sturt.

Read the guidelines for Building and Maintaining Poultry and Pigeon Enclosures for information on your obligations, limits on poultry and pigeons per property, structure requirements, litter management and pest control.

This information sheet is based on Council’s Domestic Livestock Management By-Law 2014 which contains specific requirements for the keeping of poultry and pigeons within the City of Charles Sturt. You can read Council’s By-Law Register.

Litter management

It's important to care for the poultry litter to avoid odours. Bad smells can occur when litter is not regularly disposed of, kept wet, manure is allowed to accumulate, or kitchen scraps are thrown on top of the litter.

We encourage the deep litter method. It used properly, the poultry should always be on dry ground. This method allows droppings to quickly dry and form part of the litter. It avoids attracting nuisance flies to the area.

Starting the litter

Only use dry materials like straw, wood shavings or dry lawn clippings. Spread materials evenly at a depth of 150mm on the floor surface. After a few weeks, repeat the process. Continue until the litter is at a depth of 250mm.

Caring for the litter

It's important that the litter stays dry at all times. Keep the poultry's drinking trough outside of the shelter. You can cut a hole through the shelter wall to allow birds to drink without wetting their litter. You can rake and throw what under perches to encourage birds to scratch amongst the litter.

If you care for it correctly, this litter will last for up to a year. Around this time you should have a good supply of garden fertilizer. You can start a new litter with a small amount of the old litter.

Waste management

You should immediately collect waste like seeds, feathers, dead birds and faecal matters. Put them in a plastic bag and dispose immediately into an approved receptacle or the rubbish bin. Make sure the bin has a tight lid to stop flies, vermin and pests.

Fly and vermin control

You can use fly baits and paper inside the shelter out of the reach of birds. These are easy to find at hardware. Make sure you check and replace these frequently.

Rat bait can prevent vermin, but be cautious around children and other pets. Keep all feed in sealed air tight containers stored up high. Learn more about rat control.

More information 

Environmental Health Department
8408 1111