Healthy chooks happy neighbours

Article image - Healthy chooks  happy neighbours Central Coast residents are now able to keep their chooks and stay friends with the neighbours.

People who keep chooks in residential areas of Tasmania’s Central Coast Council have a new tool to help keep their hens healthier and their neighbours happier.

Council has produced a 12-page colour booklet ‘Healthy Hens, Happy Humans’ to coincide with its introduction of a new Animal Control By-Law covering the keeping of farmyard animals within residential zones.

Central Coast Mayor, Jan Bonde, said the By-Law provides rules and regulations for people who keep farmyard animals in suburban backyards. 

“We had seen a surge in complaints about animal noise, smells, waste and livestock escaping.

“The new By-Law is essential to minimizing those disputes by ensuring livestock are looked after properly, and the rights of neighbours are respected.”

While the By-Law and permit system covers all livestock from cattle to sheep, donkeys and bees, special focus has been given to the keeping of hens.

“From the outset Council saw this as an opportunity to engage with our community and particularly with the local Ulverstone Poultry Club.

“The input of club members was vital to the drawing up of the By-Law.”

Ulverstone Poultry Club President, Jill Weaver, said she was reassured from the outset about Council’s motives for drawing up and implementing the By-Law.

“The Club took a very proactive approach to working with the Council to ensure that people would not be deterred from keeping a few hens in their back yards.    

“While permits are not required for the keeping of up to 6 standard adult hens, up to 10 bantam adult hens, or up to 8 mixed sized adult hens, the Club and Council shared the common belief that all hens, regardless of flock size, should be kept in a way that makes them healthier and those who live near them, happy.

The ‘Healthy Hens Happy Humans’ booklet references the Animal Control By-Law to address a range of issues for backyard poultry keepers.