This page contains Council advice about about poultry, ducks and the keeping of birds.


The Council places restrictions on the keeping of poultry in parts of Invercargill other than those where rural activities are permitted. “Poultry” includes geese, ducks, pigeons and domestic fowl of all descriptions. No more than 25 birds may be kept unless written consent has been obtained from the Council’s Environmental Health Division.

Poultry house construction and bird welfare

Check with the Council’s Building Division to establish if a building consent is required before starting any construction. Generally, any construction greater than 10 square metres needs a building consent. If a poultry house has an automatic watering system that also needs consent from the plumbing inspectors.

Poultry housing may have attached runs, must be properly constructed in accordance with the Building Act, and must include the following features:

Floor: The floor of the poultry house to be constructed on concrete or other approved material. Concrete is the most satisfactory flooring surface as it is permanent, vermin proof, easily cleaned and is able to be readily disinfected.

House: Poultry houses and runs may not be erected or maintained in any of the following positions: within 9m from any dwelling; within 9m from any factory; within 9m from any other building, whether wholly or partly occupied; or within its own height from the boundary of adjoining premises.

Roof: Rainproof roof over the poultry house.

Run: Runs are to be enclosed to keep poultry confined.

Water system: If the structure contains an automatic water system, a plumbing consents may be required.

Bird welfare, hygiene and hints

Adequate  space
It is recommended that the area of the poultry house be no less that 1.5sq/m per bird for fewer than 12 birds. For more than 12 birds 1.2sq/m per bird is considered adequate – but the more space the better.

Ducks and ducklings:  All inquiries should be directed to Fish and Game NZ Southern Region (phone 215 9117).

Building materials
Building materials which are smooth, waterproof and easily cleaned are best as these make the problem of maintaining disease-free stock easier and there are also fewer hiding places for blood-sucking mites which can seriously affect poultry. If roofing material such as corrugated iron is used then wire netting and building paper should be placed underneath to prevent condensation and dampness.