Environmental management for poultry farms

In Queensland, poultry farming is defined as an environmentally relevant activity (ERA) if you are:

  • farming 1,000 or more birds to produce:
    • eggs, fertile eggs or rearing hatchlings
    • starter pullets
    • layers
    • birds for meat
  • includes farming chickens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl and turkeys.

If your farm qualifies as an ERA, then you need to hold an environmental authority (ERA) to operate.

Apply for an environmental authority

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries issues EAs for poultry farming.

Use the licences and permits finder to find out:

  • how to apply for a new EA
  • manage an existing EA
  • fees
  • forms
  • what you need to include in your application.

Apply for an EA:

Prepare an environmental management plan

Environmental management involves:

  • location of the farm
  • buffer zones around the production area on the farm
  • management tools to prevent odour, light, noise and waste impacts on others and the environment.

Preparing an environmental management plan for your farm can help:

  • identify and manage any potential environmental risks
  • ensure your business is making a reasonable and practical effort to operate in an environmentally sustainable way.

Your development permit may also have specific requirements that you must follow.

Select the right location

Poultry farms need to be separated from:

  • other existing sensitive land uses (not on the site of the poultry farm)
  • areas of environmental interest (non-rural zones)
  • surface water, declared fish habitats
  • high ecological value waters
  • sites or places of significant cultural heritage or nature conservation.

This separation helps minimise the impacts of odour, dust, noise and light.

Any new poultry farm should be located at least:

  • 1km from other poultry farms
  • and
  • 5km from breeder farms.

If you are contract growing for a processor, check with the processor to confirm their minimum distance requirements.

Free range farms may require greater distances.

Read the guidelines

Meat chicken farms:

Egg production: