Birds and other animals

Birds and other pet animals

Council has regulations in place to ensure your birds and other animals are kept in the best possible conditions for their comfort and that of your neighbours. We also offer advice and information to help you:

  • create safe and comfortable enclosures for your animals
  • register your animal
  • control vermin
  • know what to do about Hendra virus.

In most circumstances you can keep birds or poultry without needing a permit from Council, as long as you don't exceed the allowed number of animals for your property size. 

However, we recommend that prior to getting any birds or poultry you contact us to find out about requirements. Common factors will include:

  • the size of the property where the birds or poultry will be kept
  • the number of birds or poultry permitted (if any)
  • minimum requirements for enclosures, including distances to neighbouring properties/dwellings
  • likelihood of noise or odour nuisance occurring
  • storage of food
  • maintenance of yard/s (including disposal of waste products).

Native birds

Provided you lawfully obtain native birds and keep them under proper conditions, you can keep many species without getting a licence, including:

  • budgerigars
  • cockatiels
  • Bourke’s parrots
  • star and zebra finches
  • brown, king and stubble quail
  • diamond and peaceful doves.

If you want to keep other native birds species, you will have to apply for a licence from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. You will only be allowed to keep certain species.

Requirements for keeping birds and poultry

Registration requirements 

Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, owners must register if they have over 100 or more designated birds:

  • Those that are raised for human consumption (poultry)
  • The production of eggs for human consumption (e.g. chickens) or,
  • Those that have been released into free flight since they started being kept in captivity (e.g. pigeons)

Contact your local Department of Agriculture and Fisheries office to obtain an application form or for further information. 

Property size

The size of your property determines the type and number of poultry you can keep.

  • Properties less than 500 square metres: no poultry allowed.
  • Properties between 500 square metres and 2000 square metres: Up to 6 hens, ducks or drakes allowed.
  • Properties between 2001 square metres and 4000 square metres: Up to 12 hens, ducks or drakes - geese and turkeys also allowed.
  • Properties over 4000 square metres: No restrictions on poultry.

The size of your property determines the type and number of large parrots (cockatoo, galah or similar) you can keep.

  • Multi-residential properties: no large parrots allowed.
  • Properties less than 1000 square metres: no large parrots allowed.
  • Properties between 1000 square metres and 3000 square metres: 1 large parrot allowed.
  • Properties over 3001 square metres: 2 large parrots allowed.

Enclosure location

All birds and poultry need to be contained to your property within an enclosure. Poultry enclosures must be at least one metre from your property boundary and five metres from any neighbouring dwelling.

Tips for keeping birds and poultry

  • Ensure birds are not kept in a way that causes a nuisance.
  • Keep enclosures clean to prevent odours and flies.
  • Replace water daily.
  • Gather and dispose of manure in a weather-proof, fly-proof container.
  • Keep enclosure area dry (muddy and soaked areas will worsen odours).
  • Dispense the correct amount of food (excess food can encourage rats and mice).

What sort of henhouse or aviary should I get?

It's worthwhile doing some research on the type of henhouse or aviary you'll need. Factors to be considered include:

  • easy access for regular cleaning
  • made from materials that are easy to clean and do not retain the heat
  • well ventilated but not draughty
  • a concrete floor with a rat proof wall is desirable
  • the use of non-painted metals should be avoided as these will retain the heat
  • litter should be spread around 100 millimetres deep (suitable litter includes pine shavings, sawdust and straw – all free of chemical treatments)
  • a covered water trough outside the shed will reduce wet litter inside the henhouse
  • self-feeding troughs are ideal for a small flock
  • mount nesting boxes on the cool side of the shed and off the ground 
  • pest proof (snakes, foxes, etc.)
  • keeping birds and poultry 'covered' from dusk until dawn can minimise noise becoming an issue for your neighbours.

If you want to keep a pet pig you need to complete and lodge a Request for a Pet Pig Permit [PDF 0.2MB] with Council in person or by mail, and meet the following requirements:  

  • 1 desexed pig is permitted on allotments of 4,000 square metres or more
  • No pigs may be kept on premises in the Ridgewood Downs prohibition area
  • No pigs may be kept on an allotment on any of the following – (i) North Stradbroke Island; (ii) Coochiemudlo Island; (iii) Russell Island; (iv) Macleay Island; (v) Lamb Island; (vi) Karragarra Island
  • Enclosures must be 25 metres from any dwelling, other than the dwelling upon the premises on which the enclosure is to be constructed, and 5 metres from an adjoining boundary

Council will conduct an inspection on receipt of a request for a pet pig permit. Evidence of sterilisation must be sighted or a completed Statutory Declaration – desexed animal [PDF 0.1MB] provided.

For more information about proper enclosure requirements, refer to the Local Law 2 - Animal Management.

If you want to keep horses, cattle or livestock you must meet the following requirements:  

  • Register your horse, cattle or livestock
  • Livestock is permitted on allotments of 4,000 square metres or more
  • No livestock may be kept on premises in the Ridgewood Downs prohibition area
  • The owner of livestock must ensure environmental impacts from the keeping of the animal are properly managed, including erosion, dust, water pollution
  • The keeping of livestock must not have an adverse impact on occupiers of the surrounding area and the health or safety of people or other animals
  • Register the movements of your horse every time it moves off a property

Requirements by Biosecurity Queensland for horses, cattle or livestock

Registration and movement records

Under the Biosecurity Act 2014, if you keep horses, cattle or livestock you must register your animal and create a record movement each time an animal moves off a property.

Contact your local Department of Agriculture and Fisheries office for more information or to access an application form.

Hendra virus information

What is Hendra virus?

Hendra virus is believed to be passed onto horses by flying foxes (fruit bats). Infected horses can pass the virus onto people who are in close contact with the animal. The virus can be deadly to both humans and horses however, there are ways that this can be prevented.

What you can do

  • Be alert with sick horses
    • Protect yourself from body fluids
    • Wash your hands and equipment
    • Call your vet quickly
  • Put feed and water under cover
  • Be aware around flying foxes
    • Move horses from paddocks or fence off trees with flying foxes
    • Don’t leave out food like fruit or vegetables

Who to contact if you have concerns

  • If you think you may have been in contact with an infected horse, contact your local public health unit or call 13HEALTH (13 43 25 84).
  • If you suspect your animal may have Hendra virus, contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 or the Emergency Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

More information on the Hendra virus can be found on the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Queensland Health websites.

Council local laws are in place to ensure the keeping of bees on your property will not have adverse effects on neighbours and the community. Prior to getting any bees, please contact us to find out if restrictions apply to you.

Guidelines and restrictions

Common restrictions imposed may include the size of the property the bees will be housed on. Council does not limit the number of hives a person may keep, however compliance for the keeping of hives must be in accordance with the Biosecurity Act 2014, which does not limit the number of hives a person may have.

Biosecurity Queensland also has guidelines for the management of beekeeping in Queensland. These include:

  • registering if you have one or more bee hives
  • minimum standards to which beekeepers should comply
  • community confidence in the safety of beekeeping activities
  • a guide for the prevention and resolution of complaints
  • the prescription for harmonious cooperation between beekeepers and other land occupiers.

A full copy of these guidelines and information of how to register can be obtained through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Bee collection

Council doesn't't provide a service for the seizure or control of bees.

The Bayside Beekeepers Association Incorporated collects bees to protect the public and to add them to their own collections.

Contact the association on (07) 3207 8151 or 0409 134 526

For information about the control of vermin, please visit our Rats, mice and vermin page

More information

More information about the keeping and management of animals can also be found on the Toolbox site.

Related links