Keeping of Poultry

Poultry keeping (including fowls, geese, pigeons, and similar birds) is allowed in the urban areas. 

The Rotorua District General Bylaw 2017 only permits the keeping of 12 head of poultry in a residential area. These poultry must be kept in a properly constructed poultry house with a rainproof roof and a concrete floor, which may be attached to a poultry run. The poultry house and run may not be located within 2 metres of the boundary, or within 10 metres of any dwelling, factory, or other occupied dwelling. Poultry, regardless of size, shall be kept confined to within the poultry house and run at all times. If Council receives a complaint regarding crowing rooster(s) or a noisy bird then an officer may investigate. 

There are certain requirements which must be met if nuisance is not to arise.

Poorly kept and inadequately housed poultry can cause serious fly problems and offensive odours as well as attracting rats.  In order to reduce the problems which may arise the Rotorua Lakes Council General Bylaw 2017 set down certain requirements. If fully observed these will help prevent nuisance, but only strict and regular attention to cleanliness will permit poultry to be kept without creating conditions offensive to both yourself and your neighbours.

Requirements for building poultry runs and houses

  • There must be a properly constructed poultry house, with a concrete floor and a rain proof roof.  Before erecting any poultry house please check with the Building Services division as to building consent requirements.)

  • A run may be attached to the poultry house.

  • Poultry houses and runs must be further than 2 meters from any boundary, and 10 meters from any dwelling, factory or other occupied building.  This distance, of course, includes neighbours buildings.

  • No more than twelve head of poultry may be kept on any site zoned Residential.

  • Runs must be adequate to prevent poultry from escaping, and poultry are not permitted to roam free but must be confined.

Poultry house maintenance

Every poultry house must be kept clean, dry, and in good repair and cleaned out weekly.  It must be thoroughly and effectively treated with insecticide at least every six months. 

 When cleaning runs and houses, droppings should be buried with at least 25cm of soil to prevent odour and flies breeding.

Fly control

Conditions giving rise or likely to give rise to the breeding of flies are a nuisance within the meaning of the Health Act 1956. It is therefore essential that adequate and effective measures are taken at all times to guard against fly breeding. Such measures should include:

The regular spraying of droppings, houses and runs with an effective insecticide.

The preventive aspect of fly control, keeping litter and droppings dry, the regular cleaning out and removal of droppings especially under the battery cages and perches every week to reduce conditions likely to contribute to or encourage fly breeding, infestations and odours.

Proper disposal of droppings by burying with at least 25cm of soil cover immediately or alternatively disposing of the droppings in a suitable refuse container.

Rodent control

Rats and mice  are attracted to poultry premises and unless effective steps are taken to deal with or guard against these nuisances an offence under the Health Act 1956, may be committed. Essential preventive or other control measures are listed as follows:

  • Ensuring that as far as practicable all poultry food is stored in rodent proof hop​pers, buildings or in covered metal drums.
  • Adequate poisoned rodent baits or other controls should be maintained to effectively eradicate any rodent infestation which could occur from time to time.  Bait should not to be placed where poultry have access.
  • Excess poultry food should be left in the poultry house unless adequately protected from rats and mice. When signs of rat infestation are noted in the poultry house, food tro
  • ughs should not be filled in excess of daily requirements and remaining food should be removed at night, to deny rats access to an alternative food supply, until the rat infestation has been cleaned up.

Should you require any further information on any of the above items please feel free to contact our Environmental Health Officers.

Page reviewed: 03 Dec 2019 2:30pm