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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:38 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Hi, I am new to this forum.
I live in Queensland, on the Northern Gold Coast. I have 2 kids and am thinking about getting a few chickens for our backyard. As pets and also for the eggs. Unfortunately, council doesn't allow ANY chickens if your property is less than 800sqm. Ours is about 650sqm.
I was wondering if there is anyone on here who has experience with this? Do you know whether you can apply for a permit/exception? Or should I just try it anyway? I would definitely ask the neighbours before to make sure they will be ok with it and possibly bribe them with fresh eggs :-)
There is a place that offers a 1 month "rental" of a coop + 2 chickens and I was thinking of doing that to make sure this suits us and also that the neighbours will be ok. I thought if it is a 1 month limit, initially, they'd be less inclined to say no and then, when they see that they are not a nuisance, they'd be ok with us getting some chooks on a permanent basis (if that's what we decide to do. It's also so that my husband has a chance to get on board as he is a little sceptical.
Would love to hear your thoughts.
Sasa


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:03 am 
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Location: Gold Coast, QLD, AUSTRALIA
No. Not worth the grief. GCCC are very strict and there are plenty of dobbers around! Penalties exist and no warnings given.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:05 am 
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Discerning Duck
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Location: Gold Coast
I'm on the Gold Coast and lucky enough to be over 800sqm so I feel for you. I think it would be a good idea if you approached your neighbours and told them you were going to trial two or three chooks for a month. If you told them you wanted their opinion over that time they would probably be more agreeable to the idea? Just in case don't get your hopes up too much!

I would make sure the hens you get on trial are already laying because you want your neighbours to be able to hear their cackling after laying an egg. This can last a very short time or up to 30 seconds or so. It doesn't sound like a long time, but in a very quiet neighbourhood, it can seem quite loud.

Maybe if all goes well you could either take your chances and not let the council know, or you could approach council and let them know you've already done a trial and your neighbours weren't bothered by any noise. Maybe a letter from them would help??

Personally I'd be going down the 'don't tell council' path because it may not work out in your favour. In the end they really only respond to noise complaints so you may find you and your hens go under the radar.

Good luck, I'm sure you won't be sorry! :biggrin:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:07 am 
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Wise One
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No chooks allowed at all?? Thats abit rough. Most councils allow 5, depending what state of course and permit for extra. I think you would be better being upfront with your council cos as you may have read here some others have had trouble with their councils. There no point in getting them, someone dobbing you in and then you have the heartache of having to get rid of them. I think the rental thing is a good one, see if they suit your lifestyle and whether the kids enjoy them. If you do hopefully you can approach your council. Good luck and be warned it is an addiction! :biggrin:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:16 am 
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In the end they really only respond to noise complaints so you may find you and your hens go under the radar.


Not true.

Any report of alleged presence on property of birds or other animals will be investigated whether it has any basis in truth or not! Speaking from experience.

You'd be breaking the law and not have a leg to stand on. Door to door checks are ongoing all the time asking others in the street about what animals and birds are around.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:08 am 
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Discerning Duck
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Yikes, I wasn't aware they did that :shock: I guess neighbours change too, so what makes one happy may not make another happy and it would be horrible to become attached to them and then lose them.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:16 am 
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Gallant Game
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Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:17 pm
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Location: Canungra, Gold Coast,QLD
:( Ba$tard council.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:05 am 
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Some councils don't include quail in their poultry restrictions. See if you can keep few of those. They still make lovely pets for families and you get some tiny eggs as well.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:29 am 
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Dapper Duck
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:-(
Not the answers I was hoping for. But thanks, I really appreciate your honest opinions.

Cackles, Door to door checks? Really? I've been here for years and never had someone check. In fact, I know that some of my neighbours have unregistered cats and dogs and don't "confine them to their property" as the council requires. Noone has ever been in trouble over this.

It just makes me really angry that it is allowed to have a dog that yaps all night every night for years, but a few chickens would be a problem. I don't see why. I'd be allowed to have a parrot, though.
I highly doubt chickens would be any louder than the lorrikeets my neighbour feeds...
And with my kids screaming and me yelling at them, I wouldn't call this a "quiet neighbourhood" ;-)

BWDS, yes, I don't know why the Gold Coast Council is so strict. Brisbane allows up to 6 on a property up to 800sqm, which I think is quite generous. I wonder if there are any groups that are lobbying to change this rule? I know there was some discussion a few years back.

Roova, where on the Gold Coast are you?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:49 am 
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Discerning Duck
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Location: Gold Coast
Hi Sasa, I'm in Worongary :)

I reckon you should start by chatting to your neighbours either way. If they sound agreeable I still suggest you trial them for a month and ask your neighbours what they thought (an egg or two when asking won't go astray!).

I would then approach the council anyway. If they aready know your neighbours are ok with it, it will surely help a permit go through. 3 hens should be so quiet your neighbours will only be reminded they are there when they lay an egg.

In saying that I've had some hens who were quite noisy leading up to laying and some who don't make a peep until they've laid. If you are going to be hiring some girls you could always ask for ones which don't 'talk' so much :) I'm sure others may not agree, but so far I've found my bantams are really quiet.

After the month hiring if you end up going ahead with getting some for yourself, I would do some searches on pen costs and hen costs as the places which hire them out are not known for being cheap. Maybe keep an eye on ebay?

It worth giving it a go. The worst that can happen is you're told no and you're no worse off in that case. Hopefully it all goes your way though!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:49 am 
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Gallant Game
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Location: Canungra, Gold Coast,QLD
You could probably get a couple of seabrights and pass them off as exotic pigeons :hmmm:
Does anyone know if they are noisy.
They are really very pretty.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:39 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Lol, Livinthedream, unfortunately, I'm not allowed any pigeons, either. Hey, do I know you from another forum? I just PMed someone with the same username on another forum (not mentioning the name of the forum for your privacy).

Roova, I had been asking around on the other forum mentioned above and been told, that some breeds are naturally more quiet than others. So, for the rental, I only have the option of either Pekin Bantams or hybrid layers. I'd go for the Bantams. What breed do you have?

If I should go ahead, I was thinking maybe a couple of Silkie or Pekin Bantams and possibly a Barnevelder as I have been told they are pretty docile, quiet and good layers. Would it be ok to combine them like this?
I'd probably build a pen and private run myself. I had also seen the really cheap and cool looking coops on ebay. Not sure if i could even build something like this for that price!
I wouldn't let them freerange much as we have a lab and I'd be terrified he'd hurt them.

Anyway, getting ahead of myself here.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:57 am 
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Councils are not inclined or persuaded in any particular direction. They merely apply an existing set of animal keeping regulations. If you don't comply with it - then the answer is no. Whether you ask nicely, or if some of your neighbours like you makes no difference at all.

Those who work outside of that have to be ready to pay the fine and get rid of the birds if a problem comes up. Those situations get messy because bird owners then try to 'appeal' on emotional grounds. However, once it is drawn to the attention of the council that you are not following council requirements they have to act. Appeals etc only apply when the complaints are of a vexatious nature and some negotiations can take place, but you are actually complying with the regulations.

I would think twice about getting family pets that you may have to rehome after an ugly encounter with neighbours or councils. Sometimes people many houses away notice a noise and make the call. Owners and their children get so upset, and bad feeling arises in the neighbourhood. It's a problem families just don't need. Sometimes it happens by accident and you have to deal with it, but if you know in advance, do your best to work within the council's guidelines. It's so much easier.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:03 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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My recommendation would be to contact the council (you wouldn't need to identify who you are) and ask if there is the possibility of applying for a permit for chooks on a property that is smaller than the regulations allow.

If they tell you that there is a possibility, then ask what minimum conditions you'd need to meet in order to not have the permit application rejected outright. It could include such things as coop & run distances from neighbours, shared fencing, footpaths, roads etc. It could include specific minimum times between cleans of the coop. It could include vermin proofing their feed. It could include any number of similar things.

That would at least give you a starting point (if they don't say "no" outright) to plan what you'd have to do to have a decent chance at getting a permit.

I don't know how well Sebrights lay, but another option if you want something very small is to get one of the Belgian bantams; d'Anvers, d'Uccles or d'Watermael. My d'Uccle (when not raising chicks, like she is now) lays about 2 days out of 3 days. The eggs are about 30 grams, which is huge for the size of the chook (she weighs about 600gms). I've heard from some d'Uccle people in Queensland that their d'Uccles don't lay quite as well as that, but it's a possibility if the council will consider small chooks. I reckon I could pass off my d'Uccle as a type of dove or pigeon to most people !


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:42 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: Hunter Valley, NSW
Funny you should say that Livinthedream! I gave one of my silver Sebright hens to a friend, and whenever she has people over they are adamant in telling her she has a very pretty pigeon in her chook pen :lol:

Sebrights can be noisy, but not in the same respect as a a standard chook. Mine will chatter among themselves, but in a much quieter tone, you really don't notice unless you are sitting in the grass with them. As for egg laying ability, mine lay every 6 out of 7 days and eggs are quite a good size, with averages around 40g>

Personally i'd go down the dúccle route. They are much quieter (in both noise and temperament) and make fantastic friendly little pets that are fairly good layers :)

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