Considering chickens for your garden?…or are you chicken?
Brisbane residents have taken to the idea of urban chickens with wings, flocking to one local breeder and supplier to get started.
Ingrid Dimock of City Chicks in Anstead says over the last five to seven years the increase of customers interested in urban chickens has been astronomical.
She says the store in Anstead sells around 100 chickens every week, with most of the chickens sold to young families.
“Council regulations have really relaxed over the past few years and more young families have been taking advantage of that.”
She says currently you must set up the coop 1 metre from neighbouring boundary lines and blocks of land under 800 square metres (which she states would be most of Brisbane) are allowed up to six chickens. Properties in the Brisbane City Council area over that size are limited to 20 chickens.
“That’s pretty much the most of the rules, but there are also basic hygiene and overcrowding rules, but every flock and yard will be different,” she says.
The Brisbane City Council lists conditions for keeping poultry on a property on the government website:
- make sure your poultry shed will not cause a nuisance to your neighbours
- keep conditions clean to prevent odour and fly breeding
- store bulk food in pest-proof containers
- consider using lime to combat odour problems and reduce the soil pH
- avoid putting out excess amounts of food so you don’t encourage rats or mice
- gather up all manure and place it in weather-proof and fly-proof containers at least once every seven days
- replace water daily
Ingrid says the main complaints owners get from neighbours are in regards to the noise, as some poultry can be quite loud.
“I would say one in 50 hens could produce a cry of celebration, which early in the morning is not something some neighbours want to hear.
“But there are definitely some great benefits, including pure egg production, use as a great composting alternative, use of the manure they produce to fertilise the garden, and also that chickens can aerate the soil and eat unwanted bugs,” she says.
When asked if chickens are likely to get along with children and pets, Ingrid says they are generally pretty easy going creatures.
“Chickens in general are open minded about other animals and if you get two or more chickens they are likely to contently hang out together.
“They are also very interesting pets for children and will help teach them about backyard sustainability,” she says.