Birds, poultry and other animals

Council regulates the keeping of birds, poultry, pigs, goats, sheep, horses and cows to ensure the health and safety of the community and environment.

Under Council's Local Laws, the keeping of various animals is based on the size of your property.  If you wish to keep more animals than is allowed in the below table, then you must apply for an "excess permit" to keep additional animals (see below).

You are not permitted to keep any of the animals listed below in a conservation planning area (under CairnsPlan 2016) or in a unit or dual occupancy premises.

Council recognises that there are different types of birds that are kept in the community and because of their natural instincts they require individual consideration. The different types are as follows:

Birds means all birds other than noisy birds, special birds, poultry and roosters.

Noisy birds means a bird that is noisy in the opinion of an authorised person and includes a cacophonous birds of the galah, cockatoo, magpie, peacock or currawong variety. Roosters are not included in this group.

Poultry includes any species of chickens (including bantam chickens), geese, ducks, guinea fowls, turkeys, pheasants or quails.

Special birds include emus and ostriches.

Number of animals

Species or breedSize of propertyNumber allowed
Poultry450m2 to 799m2 
800m2 to 1,999m2
2,000m2 to 10,000m2
6 maximum
9 maximum
12 maximum
BirdsUp to 799m2
800m2 to 4,500m2
10 maximum
30 maximum
Special birdsLess than 20,000m2Not permitted
Noisy birdsLess than 800m2
800m2 to 10,000m2
Not permitted
1 maximum (with a permit)
RoosterLess than 10,000m2Not permitted
Racing pigeonsLess than 600m2
600m2 to 799m2
Great than 799m2 
Not permitted
100 mamimum
200 maximum
GoatsLess than 2,000m2
2,000m2 to 3,999m2 
4,000m2 to 10,000m2
Not permitted
2 maximum
4 maximum
SheepLess than 2,000m2
2,000m2 to 10,000m2 
Not permitted
4 maximum
RamsLess than 10,000m2Not permitte
Domesticated pigsLess than 10,000m2
Greater than 10,000m2
Conservation planning area
Not permitted
4 maximum
Not permitted
Bulls, horses, donkeys, cows
(and other animals of similar size)
Less than 2,000m2
2,000m2 to 10,000m2
Not permitted
1 maximum
StallionsLess than 10,000m2
Greater than 10,000m2
Not permitted
Permit required

Additional animals

If you wish to keep more animals than specified above, you need to apply to Council for an "excess permit".

We considered excess permits on a case-by-case basis. A Council officer will discuss your application with you and will inspect your property to establish suitability.

Form to keep excess:

For download

Last updated: 14 April 2016