Girls On Strike

Hi there keepers, we appear to be eggless for the first time in the last 18 months, I nearly considered buying some yesterday, then common sense prevailed. It seems as though Renee, the first to moult, and the only one who had started laying again, has decided to moult again, this is a first for us, and a bit strange as winter is here already, quite cold last night.

I hope the Minorca starts her winter laying soon, as I am missing the eggs, as they have become a constant in my everyday, also not getting my natural omega.  This is also part of being a caring chicken keeper, appreciating the birds for just being, rather than viewing them purely as a source of food or machines that constantly produce eggs.

As we have lost a couple of our flock, due to illness and possibly drunk youths, maybe it’s time in increase the numbers again, which in turn should increase the possibilty of an egg a day, to keep the psychiatrist away.

Welcome One and All

dsc01819Hi there, and welcome to The Chicken Keeper, my name is Rob and this blog is devoted to the keeping of chickens, and the trials and tribulations that go with it.

We started keeping chickens in September 2008, the list of poultry we have at present,  one Minorca, and four Wyandotte Golden Laced .  At present we live on a 1/4 of an acre with a creek running through the back, in Waitakere City, which is part of the greater Auckland area in the North Island of New Zealand, although I’m originally  London/Irish from Hackney, and the other half  is from Waterford, in Ireland.  We are just keeping enough hens to provide eggs for the family, we also grow some herbs and vegetables.  I’ve built the coop and run from recycled materials, see DIY corner for more details.

Comments are very welcome, I hope you enjoy the site and maybe find some of it useful.             If reading is not for you then check out the pics in the Secret Layer ^.

Waitakere City By Law Poultry Keeping

Keeping Birds and Poultry


Keeping roosters

Rural areas:
There are no restrictions on the keeping of roosters in rural areas.
Contact us to find out if you are listed as living in a rural area .

Urban areas:
Roosters are only permitted on properties larger than 2,000m2 in size in urban areas.
Contact us to find out if you are listed as living in a urban area 


Keeping poultry

Geese, domestic ducks, pigeons, turkeys, doves, peacocks, chickens and any other “domestic fowl” are classed as poultry under Council’s Bylaw 4, Chapter 13.

Rural areas: 
There are no restrictions on the keeping of poultry in rural areas.  
Contact us to find out if you are listed as living in a rural area

Urban areas:
The Bylaw limits the number of poultry that may be kept without Council consent to 12. Poultry housing must be weatherproof and capable of being easily cleaned. The housing is not permitted to be closer than 2 metres from the boundary or within 10 metres of a dwelling. 

I thought this might be useful to some, especially if you live in Waitakere City, 🙂 , lucky for me , if i lived a few kms east, i’d only be allowed half the birds.

Auckland City By-Law 3.3 keeping of poultry

Thought this might be a helpful post, as it took me ages to find my local councils by-law.

3.3 Poultry keeping


A person shall not keep poultry, except in accordance with the following requirements:

Poultry house requirements

  1. A poultry house shall be provided and shall:
    1. Be of sound construction;
    2. Have a floor of smooth concrete or other easily cleaned approved materials;
    3. Have an enclosed run attached, provided that this shall not apply in the case of any pigeon loft or other pigeon enclosure;
    4. Have a rainproof roof;
    5. Have a floor area of not less than 0.40 square metres for each bird;
    6. Have a height not less than 1 metre from floor to ceiling.


  1. The poultry house and run shall be located at least 10 metres from any occupied building, and at least 3 metres from any public place, or boundary of adjoining premises.

Run to be enclosed

  1. A poultry run shall be so enclosed as to confine the poultry within it, provided that this shall not apply in the case of any pigeon loft or other pigeon enclosure. The poultry run shall have an area of not less than 0.40 square metres for each bird and a height of not less than 1 metre.

Lofts for racing pigeons shall generally meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct produced by Pigeon Racing New Zealand Inc.


  1. Every poultry house and run shall be, to the satisfaction of an authorised officer:
    1. Maintained in good repair;
    2. Maintained in a clean condition;
    3. Free from any offensive smell or overflow;
    4. Free from vermin;
    5. Free from accumulations of manure and food.

Number of poultry permitted to be kept

  1. With the exception of pigeons, not more than 6 head of poultry shall be kept on any private land within the urban area without a permit from an authorised officer. An authorised officer may refuse or revoke this authority if the poultry house or run in question is considered to be likely to cause a nuisance or be injurious to health.
  2. An authorised officer may impose a limit on the number of pigeons kept on any private land if because of their number, the conditions in which they are kept or for any other reason they are considered to be causing a nuisance or to be offensive or injurious to health and if the person responsible for keeping those pigeons fails to comply with any reasonable request to abate or prevent that nuisance or the conditions which are injurious to health.



No person shall keep a rooster in any part of the urban area without the prior approval of an authorised officer. Approval if given may be subject to conditions.



Nothing in this bylaw shall prevent any person keeping poultry:

  1. In an auction room for not more than 24 hours;
  2. In a retail premises for the purpose of sale.
  3. For commercial purposes including the sale of poultry and/or eggs where such use is allowed for under the district plan or by a resource consent.


Today Sunday the 14th of September 2008,  we purchased our first chickens, 3 brown shavers from a lovely lady in Massey , West Auckland, sunbathersNew Zealand. We keep them in our home built coop, made from bits and pieces around the house, but had to buy new chicken wire from hardware shop. Wood shavings and dry grass clippings seem to make for nesting materials. A run was constructed from some bamboo, and left over chicken wire from the coop, which gives them in total approximately  50sq/ft, plenty for 3 hens.

We have named them Nancy, Gloria and Daphne, Nancy seems to be the top hen, Gloria is in the middle, and Daphne the reserved type. There transition to their new home in New Lynn, was easier than we thought it would be, they seem to have settled in nicely.

They took themselves off to roost, when it got dark. So we await with anticipation, will we have our first home- laid egg, in the morning.

We shall keep you updated with our urban chicken run.



15th Sept 2008

No egg, didn’t really expect 1 on the first day, after all, they have been put into a dark box, then driven through the waitakere’s twisting roads, car sickness perhaps, they definately made a mess in the bottom of the box, but i don’t think it was vommit. They were scared obviously. Chicken equivilant of being kidnapped. They all survived the first night, only came under threat by a curious cat, but when they charge the fence towards it, the cat soon ran off. I think Brown Shavers can hold there own in a cat fight.

Now they live in a pen, Guantanamo for chickens, compared to where they were. I’m sure in time eggs will come, that’s what hens do, lay eggs. So once they’re are comfortble in their new surroundings i’m sure we’ll get an egg.



16th Sept 2008

Have been away most of the day, saw the ladies in the morning , all well, had managed to find their way through my security net, obviously just a net then really. By the time time i got home from work they had put themselves to bed. Still no egg.

 the chickenkeeper

14th October 2008

Well so much has happened, firstly, there are two new hens in the run, Daisy and Nellie.

This has caused more upheavel, Nancy the top hen has had to lay the law down, again, but that’s all she seems to do, she spends so much time fussing and bossing, but has not to my knowledge layed one egg.

However, the four other ladies, are laying regularly now, Gloria by far lays the most perfectly shaped eggs, Daphne has been laying in secret, and has illuded me until today, what a bounty three eggs in the secret ( not anymore) nesting spot. Daisy and Nellie seem to be intermitent with their laying, probably depends on how much they get picked on during the morning, by the barren Nancy.

On the subject of escape, both Daisy and Nellie seem to be the leaders in this field, necessity, stops them being attacked by Nancy. 

It’s been one month or four weeks now, and i think they all know their names now, whether they actually know their names i don’t know, but they definately react to them, Nancy has a quick reaction to the word stick, and an even quicker one when she see me with a stick in hand, as i use a piece of bamboo as a peacekeeper, nothing cruel, just a tap on the bottom, if fact i only had to do it once, now when she see me with it, she’s off, like a roadrunner. beep! beep!.

06th November

Well as some of you may have read in the Running around like a Chicken post, they have had me on a wild, well chicken chase i suppose, ( shaking fist at the hens), even though i had retrieved all the girls before going to pick up my son from school, he still had to dropped at the corner to get Nellie, who was spotted under a bush on the way down the road, i fear all of these excursions off the property and across roads is going to end badly.

Between that and a sore head from last nights activities, there wasn’t much work done on the new coop, i did spot another pallet waiting to be rescued around the corner today, which will give me enough to finish the coop. Daphne has already taken to sitting in there, even though it only has half a roof at present. I feel however that i will need to focus on the fence situation, which will give me back all the time i spend retrieving them from the surrounding neighbourhood. Fortunately, i have a large stock of bamboo growing in the garden, which will i can hopefully weave/fashion into a fence, i shall let it be organic in it’s design.


01 MAY 2009

Hi there keepers, well I have just found this post again after several months, and realised due to the title people might be coming here looking for updates, or see the date of the last post, sometime in Sept 2008 ( before this one) and think that nothings going on,

I started this page when the blog was in it’s infancy, I so was I when it came to blogging, as regulars will know, I now post on the home page, and put various posts in the catergories like D.I.Y. Corner.

So Welcome to my Chicken Run, please have a look on home page for the lastest.