Chickens and poultry

Brisbane City Council regulations are in place to ensure you keep your birds in the best possible conditions. This is for the comfort of your birds and your neighbours.

From 1 July 2018, keeping poultry in a residential area requires a livestock permit. There is no fee associated with the self-assessment process for keeping poultry, including chickens, for domestic purposes in Brisbane.

You can apply by completing the Application for the keeping of livestock in a residential area online form.

Number of birds

Household premises with a total area of:

  • more than 800 square metres can keep up to 20 poultry
  • less than 800 square metres can keep up to six poultry. 

You must set back your poultry shed at least one metre from a dividing fence.

Conditions for keeping poultry

If you are keeping poultry on your property you need to:

  • consider building a fox proof poultry pen
  • make sure your poultry shed will not cause a nuisance to your neighbours 
  • keep conditions clean to prevent odour and fly breeding 
  • ensure you keep or dispose of animals and animal waste in a manner that prevents a breeding place for pests
  • consider the risk to the health or safety of surrounding persons and animals
  • have a livestock permit for a residential area.

You do not need a livestock permit for keeping poultry in a rural or rural residential area.


There are many popular breeds of chickens you can consider for backyard pets including:

  • Lowman Brown
  • ISA Brown
  • Black Australorp
  • White Leghorn
  • Rhode Island Red.

Crossbreeds are also good for laying eggs. You could consider a fluffy bantam for a smaller variety of chicken.


Council does not allow roosters on any premises in a residential area. You can have roosters in rural areas provided they don't create a noise nuisance. It may be best to purchase chickens from a reliable supplier to ensure they are hens.

How to apply

To apply for a self-assessable livestock permit, complete the online form.

Last updated: 3 September 2019