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Over the years, TheCityChicken.com readers have emailed me with the chicken-keeping laws in their towns.
I’ve collected them and put them on this page of TheCityChicken.com.
You can email me with the laws of your town, and I'll put them up here!
Thank you so much! I hope this page helps a lot of people! ~~Katy Skinner / TheCityChicken.com / email@example.com
(Oh, and also...here's
a funny YouTube video of what you can run into when you're trying to
research the chicken laws in your city.)
* * * * Important! In your email to me, please condense
the pertinent chicken laws into the concise manner in which the
rest of the cities are seen below. Please don’t just simply
a large amount of city-code in an email to me. I say this because
in addition to looking at the laws here, people are *still* likely going
to research their codes online in their town. I don't simply publish
copied-and-pasted city codes here. In addition, I get a large
number of emails that just post a link to their city codes, and
expect me to read through all of the laws in their town, looking
for the chicken laws. Again, help me out by using the style
in which the laws are wrtten below. * * * * * )
Homewood, AL. A new stronger anti-chicken ordinance passed in
March 2008. Any public nuisance that unreasonably annoys human beings,
unsanitary conditions, offensive cackle, cruelty, etc is grounds for non-compliance.
Unlawful for fowl in the city limits unless they are 300 feet from residences/buildings,
and more than 100 feet from road.
Huntsville, AL. Fowl must be kept 150 ft. from neighboring residences, which of course is impossible on your typical city lot.
Mobile, AL. Unlimited chickens allowed. No breeding, no roosters
Fayettville, AR. Just passed a chicken ordinance in 2008.
No more than four hens, no roosters, not closer than 25 feet to adjacent
dwellings, 4 square feet per bird in a coop and 100 square feet of run
Little Rock, AR. The chickens must be at least 5 feet from the owner's residence and at least 25 feet away from any other residence. Their housing must have three square feet of floor space per chicken over 4 months of age. There appears to be a four-hen limit.
North Little Rock, AK. Please see: http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusarodeurekasprings_northlittlerock.htm#northlittlerock
Anchorage, AK. Currently working on a land use revision that will
allow up to five hens in lots of 6,000 sq feet or less and more in larger
Juneau, AK. As of 2010, an ordinance passed which will allow up to six hens in most land use zones in the City and Borough of Juneau.
Gilbert, AZ. On each lot up to 12,000 square feet, any combination
of up to 25 fowl and pet rodents are permitted.
Flagstaff, AZ The chicken coop is to be 75 feet away from a residence.
Mesa, AZ. You may have up to 10 chickens on a lot that is one-half acre or less. One rooster is also allowed. The coop enclosure must be at least 40 feet from any neighboring residence, The coop must be at least 75 feet from any residence and must be kept sanitary. Chickens are not allowed to run loose or create a noise disturbance.
Albany, CA. Allows residents to keep up to 6 hens (no roosters)
in their backyard with a permit.
American Canyon, CA. Must keep your chicken coop in the back yard, and 50 ft. away from other houses or dwellings where people reside.
Anaheim, CA. Can keep 3 chickens on a 5,000 sq.ft. lot, 6 chickens on a 10,000 sq.ft. lot.
Bakersfield, CA. Municipal code 6.08.010: Any chickens must be "kept securely enclosed in a yard or pen at all times."
Berkely, CA. Chickens must be kept penned and 30 ft. away from any bedrooms.
Campbell, CA. Not more than six animals in all, including hares, rabbits, guinea pigs, feline, bovine, sheep, goat, chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, doves, pigeons, game birds, or other fowl or any combination thereof.
Davis, CA. A total of not more than six chicken hens and you have to keep them penned no less than 40 ft. from neighboring houses.
Diamond Bar, CA. City code Sec. 22.42.030. Fowl (other than house birds) are prohibited.
Downey, CA. Up to five chickens allowed per lot.
El Cajon, CA. See: http://qcode.us/codes/elcajon/view.php?topic=6-6_04&frames=on. Allows up to 24 adult poultry on lots over 20,000 sq ft in residential zones.
El Cerrito, CA. Only birds weighing under one-half pound are permitted.
Fairfield, CA. Only 3 hens are allowed in Fairfield, CA. No roosters.
Folsom, CA. Not more than any combination of two chickens, ducks, pigeons and rabbits shall be kept within any zoning district of the city other than agricultural or agricultural combining districts; and said animals shall be kept or maintained at least twenty feet from any property line.
Imperial Beach, CA. The municipal code says no, but a feed store estimates around 500 chickens are kept as pets.
Irvine, CA. Two chickens max. allowed, kept in a sanitary, odor free enclosure. No roosters are allowed.
Lakewood, CA. It appears Lakewood says residents can have up to 5 female fowl.
La Puente, CA. Up to 20 chickens allowed for each ten thousand sq. feet of lot area in residential zones.
Lafayette, CA. Residents can keep approximately 4 chickens.
Long Beach CA. The law is 1 chicken with a 20 feet setback restriction. Twenty chickens are allowed with a 50 feet setback restriction from single and two-family dwellings, and a 100 feet setback restriction from hotels or multiple (3+) family dwellings. This is virtually impossible in a city like Long Beach.
Los Angeles, CA. Number of chickens you can keep is unlimited. Chickens may not be within 20 feet of owner's residence, and must be at least 35 feet from any other dwelling.
Los Angeles County, CA. Number of chickens you can keep is unlimited. Chickens may not be within 20 feet of owner's residence, and must be at least 35 feet from any other dwelling. 1 rooster allowed. (Specific city laws supercede County laws.)
Los Altos, CA. 1 hen per 1,000 square feet of lot space. No restrictions on coop location. No roosters.
Mission Viejo, CA. You are allowed up to two chickens, and roosters
are not allowed. But city code 9.59.115-1 says no chickens allowed.
Mountain View, CA. Up to 4 hens without a permit. Keep 25 ft. from residences. Within 25 ft. is o.k. with written consent from residences. No roosters.
Oakland, CA. Keep chicken enclosed, & 20 ft. from any dwelling, church or school.
Petaluma, CA. Up to twenty animals of mixed combination. Chickens must be kept five feet from a neighbor’s fence or property line, and they must be kept 20 ft. from neighboring dwellings.
Poway, CA. If your property is at least a 6,000 sq.ft. lot, you can keep up to six hens. Must keep chickens 35 feet from neighbors. Don’t have your chicken house in any of the set-backs.
Redwood City, CA. Maximum of 3 chickens permitted; roosters were recently outlawed.
Riverside, CA. Up to five chickens and/or pigeons allowed. Must be at least fifty feet from any adjacent residence. Up to fifty poultry are allowed if they’re at least 100 feet from an adjacent residence.
Rocklin, CA. City Code # 6.44.010 Allows up to 10 chickens per household. The enclosure must be sanitary and weatherproof and must be kept 20' from the property line and from any inhabited building.
Rolling Hills Estates, CA. You must keep your chickens 35 feet from any inhabitable building, at least 10 feet from your property side line and 5 feet from your rear property line..
Roseville, CA. See City Code # 7.36.010. No person shall keep any goose or turkey, or more than 10, whether singly or in combination, of the following: ducks, chickens, or pigeons. (Ord. 1293 § 1 ) with a maximum 10 chickens kept 20 ft. from any property line &/or building. They don't delineate hens or roosters.
Sacramento, CA. Except for a few areas specifically spelled out in code, keeping chickens is not allowed in Sacramento. Read UPDATE here! (they are now allowed)
Sacramento County, CA. As long as your yard is 10,000 square feet or more, you can keep chickens.
San Carlos, CA. Can keep a total number of four (4) poultry.
San Jose, CA. 1-4 chickens must be kept 15 feet from neighboring structures. 4-6 chickens must be kept 20 feet away. A permit is required if you keep more than 6 chickens. In any area zoned ‘residential,’ only hens are permitted; no roosters.
San Diego, CA. Currently undergoing debates in the city council, trying to get chickens to be legal in this city. Update: As of Feb. 2012, you can keep up to 15 hens if you keep their pen 15 feet set back from your property line.
San Francisco, CA. Up to four chickens allowed. Up to four small animals total. Keep 20 feet from doors or windows in a coop or enclosure of approved type.
San Leandro, CA. No livestock of any kind shall be keep within the
city limits. But people are currently and actively working on a civic project to get the law reworded to allow chickens and bee-keeping, so hop on board with them.
San Mateo, CA. Keeping chickens requires a permit here. Up to 10 hens per household. Chickens must be kept in an appropriate pen/coop.
Santa Monica, CA. See City Code # 4.04.090 Fowl. No person shall keep more than thirteen fowl.
Santa Rosa, CA. Now allows chickens, up to 12 in most areas. No roosters, unless zoned rural.
You'll be happy to know that, as your website states, it's been just a "technical" issue for quite some time. When you can buy your chicks and all of your supplies in the HEART of downtown
Temple City, CA. Basically it allows two hens per property, but
Turlock, CA. Allowed to keep six hens, but no roosters. Pens or other quarters shall be 20 ft. from the rear property line and 25 ft. from the side property line. See: (www.chicken-revolution.com) which is dedicated to helping people change city ordinances to allow backyard chickens.
Vallejo, CA. You are allowed to keep up to 25 chickens if they are kept 15 ft. from neighboring dwellings. Roosters are allowed but subject to noise nuisance violations.
Woodland, CA. It is OK to keep up to 6 hens provided they are kept over 40 ft. from neighboring residences.
Arvada, CO. No person or household shall own or have custody of
more than two female chickens or turkeys.
Aurora, CO. No chickens allowed.
Centennial, CO. A total of four pets on property total. That includes chickens (hens and/or roosters). Example: 1 dog and 3 chickens, or 1 dog/1 cat/2 chickens, or one rooster, two hens, one dog, etc.
Colorado Springs, CO. A property may have a maximum of 10 fowl (chickens, ducks, etc.) requiring at least four square feet of coop area and adequate outdoor space. No roosters permitted within the city limits.
Denver, CO. Chicken permit must be purchased from the city for $50 & you must show that the enclosure will be clean & pest free. $50 is the application fee. There is an additional $100 license fee, followed by an annual fee of $70 to own chickens. You also have to put two signs in your front yard for one month allowing neighbors to object
Northglenn, CO. Not allowed unless property is zoned for agriculture.
Silt, CO. Unlawful to keep any poultry in town.
Thornton, CO. Not zoned for fowl. Other sources say Thornton allows 2 ducks, but not chickens.
Westminster, CO. Not allowed unless property is zoned for agriculture.
New Haven CT. Ordinance allows chickens, but no roosters.
Stamford, CT. All poultry must be penned and not allowed to run at large off of the owner’s property. Roosters cannot be kept where their crowing would annoy neighbors.
Washington D.C. Section 902 of the Animal Control Code requires
hens to be 50 ft. from any residence. Citizens are currently working
to eliminate the 50 ft. rule, and to modify the requirement that you have
to get written consent from all your neighbors before you keep chickens.
Currently, chickens are neither legal nor expressly illegal in D.C.
Contradicting information from Animal Control says chickens must be kept
500 ft away from any building.
New Castle County, DE. Chickens are not allowed unless your parcel
of land is over one acre.
Boca Raton, FL. It shall be unlawful to keep, harbor or maintain
within the city limits any horses, mules, sheep, cattle, hogs, goats, geese,
turkeys, chickens or other livestock or fowl.
Boynton Beach, FL. Says it is against the law "to keep, maintain or pasture horses, cattle, mules, goats, sheep, swine, fowl, poultry, or other livestock within the city."
Edgewood, FL. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, either as owner or keeper, to permit or otherwise allow any domestic fowl, including chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guineas and pigeons, to remain in the city when such action constitutes a nuisance to the neighborhood.
Lakeland, FL. It shall be unlawful for any person to pen, confine, keep or maintain any fowl of any kind within the residential district of the city less than 50 feet from any residence or place of abode which is occupied by any person, unless three-fourths of the residents within such area shall give their written consent to the city manager of the city that such may be kept or maintained within a shorter distance, or in such a manner that the unsightly appearance caused by such keeping or maintenance by way of noise, odor, or condition thereof shall be offensive or unhealthful to persons of ordinary sensibilities.
Levy County, FL. 10 is the max. number poultry and fowl it appears you can keep in this city.
Miami, FL. May have up to 15 hens, no roosters. But must be contained at least 100 feet from neighboring structures. So tenants and homeowners that reside in a residential zoning district cannot raise or breed chickens. Droppings shall not be used for fertilizer. All poultry or fowl droppings shall be removed from the pens at least twice weekly, wrapped in paper and placed in covered garbage cans for removal.
Pembroke Pines, FL. Chickens or other farm animals are prohibited.
St. Petersburg, FL. You can keep chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and guinea fowl so long as they are confined to your backyard and that the chicken coop is clean. But…the coop must be 100 yards away from any residence. However, if you get your neighbor’s blessing, then it’s okay. (Do we have to ask our neighbors before we get a dog? Of course not.)
Sanford, FL. A recent law (2007) says that this city does not allow chickens and you can only have 3 dogs and 3 cats. No potbelly pigs, goats, etc. Other sources regarding the county says that chickens are permitted in the county, but you must keep chickens penned 25 ft. away from your own house and 150 ft. away from neighbors, which would be possible on very large lots.
Titusville, FL. Does not allow chickens as they are considered "farm animals."
Gainesville, GA. It shall be unlawful for any person within
the city to erect or maintain any poultry or animal yard within 300 feet
of any residence except the residence of the owner, or within 300 feet
of any public building, unless such yard is maintained in accordance with
the provisions set forth by the building inspections department.
Alpharetta, GA. There is a 75 chicken maximum.
Atlanta, GA. Chickens are allowed here.
Lawrenceville, GA. No chickens allowed. However, apparently this law is only enforced if someone complains.
Cedar Rapids, IA. Cedar Rapids passed a chicken ordinance
in Sept. 2010. Up to 6 hens, no roosters. Coops must be 10
feet from the lot line, 25 feet from an occupied building and in the backyard
(which is 25 feet from the street). $25 annual fee. Must band
hens with ID bracelets provided by the city. Must take a chicken-keeping
class that follows the city's approved syllabus of content before getting
hens. (Do you have to take a dog or cat-keeping class in this town?
Clive, IA. No more than 12 chickens on lots less than 1.5 acres. Must be 150 feet from homes and 50 feet from property line.
Davenport, IA. Chickens not allowed, unless property is zoned as agricultural.
Des Moines, IA. Lots smaller than 1 acre, up to 30 birds; lots 1 acre or larger, up to 50 birds. Not allowed in the front yard, and must be at least 25' from neighbors.
Johnston, IA. "No...chickens shall be allowed to run at large within the corporate limits of the city..."
Sioux City, IA. Permit required. No roosters over 4 months old. No more than 50 birds total. Must be at least 25' from the home and at least 150' from neighboring homes. Urbandale, IA. Chickens must be kept at least 150 feet from any dwelling.
West Des Moines, IA. Chickens may not "run at large."
Windsor Heights, IA. No more than 2 chickens allowed; must be kept in a coop at all times. Must be at least 25' from neighboring residences, and may not be in front yard.
Waukee, IA. No fowl shall be kept within the city limits of the City, except in A-1 District or A-2 Annexation District on tracts of one (1) or more acres.
Nampa, ID. Keep 50 ft. from neighbors. Pay $50 for a permit. Only
3 chickens allowed and no roosters.
Boise, ID. Up to three "pet" hens allowed. No roosters.
Chicago, IL. Can have unlimited number of chickens if use is only for
pets or eggs; cannot have if use is to slaughter. Must be penned.
Evanston, IL. Illegal to keep chickens here, but folks are currently working to get this law changed, so go to council meetings here.
Pekin, IL. No person shall keep chickens unless the pen, poultry house or other structure designed to confine or shelter such poultry or fowl is so located on such tract that the nearest portion thereof is not less than fifteen (15) feet from the line of adjoining property.
Wheaton, IL. Sec. 14-99. Keeping livestock within city: “It shall be unlawful to keep any livestock or similar animals anywhere in
Evansville, IN. No more than 6 chickens allowed, coop must be
at least 50 feet from any neighbor dwelling, and you have to pay a $5 license
per premise annually.
Lafayette, IN. Livestock of any kind is prohibited in this city.
Lawrence, KS. Put a law on the books April 2, 2009 that says a
homeowner can have up to 20 chickens, no roosters.
Topeka, KS. Unlimited chickens allowed. Chickens must be penned 50 feet from any neighbor’s house.
Wichita, KS. Will allow up to 5 chickens (no roosters or guineas) without any fees.
Louisville, KY. If your lot is less than a half of an acre,
then you can only have five hens, or “non-crowing” poultry. I.e.,
if you have non-crowing poultry, you can have up to five birds. Must
be penned and not allowed to roam on the owner’s land. You can have
up to 1 crowing and 5 non-crowing poultry on less than a half-acre tract,
but must have at least a half-acre to have more than that.
Henderson, KY. No livestock of any kind. Sec. 6-5 Animal, fowl and bees are considered a "nuisance"
Baton Rouge, LA. The keeping of more than three chickens within
a recognized residential subdivision on a lot of less than one acre is
prohibited. If you live on less than one acre, your max. number of
hens allowed is three.
Lafayette, LA. See section 10-191 of the City Code. You can have chickens if: You don’t let them run at-large, they must be in a chicken pen at all times, and must be kept 25 feet from your neighbors.
New Orleans, LA. Sale or donation of chicks younger than 4 weeks of age is prohibited except in quantities of 12 to an individual. Giving fowl away as prize or advertising device is also prohibited. Chickens are to be treated humanely and kept in clean, sturdy housing.
Belmont, MA. Allows up to 5 hens in an inspected coop. Contact
the animal control division or public health department and they will inspect
the coop for adequate size and placement.
Boston, MA. All residential zones in Boston forbid "auxilliary keeping of animals", which includes poultry and other livestock.
Brockton, MA. Hens are allowed, but roosters are not.
Cambridge, MA. Nowhere are chickens mentioned in the city codes. The city itself comments that as long as the chickens are "pets", there is nothing to enforce or not enforce.
Chelmsford, MA. Must apply for a permit in order to keep chickens, subject to town Board of Health regulations.
Lynn, MA. You have to go to all your neighbors and have them sign a petition stating that they would not have any problems with you having the hens. If you have complaints from neighbors about your chickens, you are subject to a fine of $1000.00 per day.
Plymouth, MA. As of 2010, there are no rules on the books related to the keeping of chickens. A rep at the Health Department advised one chicken owner: "Just keep them clean and don't bother the neighbors."
Somerville, MA. There are no rules about keeping chickens, male or female, so long as none of them violate the noise ordinances (thus indirectly prohibiting roosters). If people complain about the noise, the chickens might have to go.
Northampton, MA. A maximum of three hens allowed; no roosters.
Springfield, MA. Keeping chickens is technically illegal in this city.
Somerset, MA. The entire town is zoned agricultural. No limits on the amount of chickens allowed. You are asked to submit a plan for your management of manure.
Wenham, MA. Poultry allowed, but the town may restrict your operation if it causes a public nuisance (noise) or public health issues (disease).
Westfield, MA. Chickens not allowed. No "livestock." Maximum of five cats and dogs.
Westwood, MA. Up to 10 fowl allowed on lots less than 40,000 sq. feet, Coop must be 15 feet from property lines. Permit application must include site plan. $10 annual permit fee and BOH inspection prior to issuance of the permit. Cockerels must be kept 1,000 feet from property lines.
Anne Arundel County, MD. No livestock or domestic fowl on lots smaller
than 40,000 sq ft. Combinations of fowl must not exceed the ratio
of 1 bird unit (= 32 chickens) per 40,000 sq ft. All fowl must be kept
within a fenced area. Accessory structures for fowl and manure storage
must be at least 50 ft. from side and rear lot lines.
Baltimore County, MD. Must have 1 acre of land to have poultry.
Baltimore City, MD. Up to four chickens can be kept (no roosters) as long as they are confined to a moveable pen that is kept 25 feet away from all residences.
Baltimore City, MD. You can have up to for hens, no roosters, must have a permit.
Prince George's County, MD. Does not permit chickens to be kept in these residential zones: R-E, R-1, R-2, R-3. As of Feb. 2012, there are plans to revise the zoning ordinance to permit a limited number of chickens in residential subdivisions.
Rockville, MD. Chickens are not allowed; neither are ducks, goats, or anything
primarily kept on a farm.
Camden, ME. As of July 2009, this town now allows up to 9 hens
or other small animals like rabbits even if your lot is smaller than 2.5
Falmouth, ME. An unspecified number of hens are allowed.
Guilford, ME. "There shall be no poultry or livestock in the Town of Guilford within the municipal Water or Sewer Districts, with the exception that if the lot is 5 acres or more the Planning Board will have the authority to grant a variance.” Basically, no poultry or livestock within the Water or Sewer Districts.
Portland, ME. Chickens not legal, but currently voting to hopefully pass an ordinance allowing 6 hens.
South Portland, ME. Voted in 2007 to allow 6 hens per household, with restrictions (see full ordinance at www.SoPoChickens.org)
Ann Arbor, MI. An ordinance was approved on June 2, 2008.
Up to 4 hens are now allowed, and you must pay $20 for a permit.
Benton Harbor, MI. No person shall keep or maintain more than five animals or fowls or a combination of more than five animals and fowls.
Detroit, MI. Not allowed. No "farm animals."
East Lansing, MI. Recently approved the keeping of city chickens. A permit may be required.
East Grand Rapids, MI. No chickens may be kept on the same lot or premises of any dwelling without obtaining prior written approval from the Director of City Services.
Flint, MI. Chickens not allowed yet. Some citizens are working to change ordinance.
Jackson MI, Fowl may not be kept within 100 feet of any dwelling or city street. Fowl are not permitted to run free.
Lansing, MI. Allows up to 5 backyard hens, no roosters. The Ingham County Board of Commissioners carved out a backyard hen exemption to its own ordinance prohibiting livestock in residential areas. Chickens must be contained and unless your neighbors give you written consent you can't have your coop within 10 feet of the property line nor with 40 feet of any residential structure on an adjacent property.
North Branch, MI. No one may house chickens unless you are “a farm.”
Traverse City, MI. Chickens are now legal in Traverse City.
Apple Valley, MN. The City Code states that only domestic animals
commonly referred to as "house pets" may be kept in those zoning districts
zoned for residential uses. This means the City does not allow, either
as a permitted use or as a conditional use, the keeping of chickens at
single family residences. The keeping of chickens is considered an
agricultural pursuit and is permitted only in those areas zoned for agricultural
Blaine, MN. Domestic farm animals, including cattle, horses, sheep, goats and chickens are only permitted in Agricultural (AG) and Farm Residential (FR) zoning districts.
Buffalo, MN. Chickens are not allowed within city limits.
Burnsville, MN. The City Code was changed in 2009 to read: No more than 4 chickens shall be maintained at any one residence or premises. Hen chickens may be kept within the residential district. The keeping of roosters is prohibited.
Edina, MN. Chickens not allowed.
Elk River, MN. Elk River defines an ‘animal’ as a dog, cat, or other animal which is harbored, fed, or kept by any person. No dog, cat, or other animal shall be allowed by its owner to run at large.
Little Falls, MN. Has an ordinance that does not allow chickens to live in town. (As of 2010.) The Town was approached in 2010 to revise the Town ordinance to allow chickens, so get on-board with this agenda if you live in Little Falls, MN.
Minneapolis, MN. Unlimited. Applicant needs consent from 80 percent of neighbors within 100 feet of real estate. Chickens must be penned.
Plymouth, MN. The City of Plymouth did not allow chickens in residential zoning districts, but they passed an ordiance on June 26th, 2012, and now chickens are allowed.
Rosemount, MN. You can have up to 3 hens, no roosters. You must get written permission from all the neighbors whose yards border yours. You must keep them in a coop between 12 and 24 inches above ground and the legs of the coop must be sunk in cement footers. And there is a $25 annual fee to keep chickens.
Roseville, MN. See City Code section 407.02: G. Keeping of Farm Animals: The keeping of cows, horses, sheep, goats or any four-legged animal commonly known as farm animals, OTHER THAN those commonly called poultry, in any pasture, stable or any enclosure within 300 feet or less of any other lot in any residence district. (Ord. 629, 9-28-70)
St. Paul, MN. Can have one chicken without a permit, but more than one you have to get permission from 75% of neighbors 150 ft. around, or proof you have no neighbors for 150 feet. No roosters, and no selling eggs without a permit.
St. Francis, MN. No fowl may be kept on a parcel of real estate smaller in area than five acres, except for the keeping of pigeons and doves.
Missoula, MT. Now allows urban chickens with a $15 a year permit.
Kansas City, MO. It is o.k. to have a chicken coop within city
limits as long as it is 100 feet away from any other building (besides
your own) where people
live. Also, you have to keep the manure from becoming a nuisance, and keep the coop in good condition. You are limited to 15 chickens.
Kirksville, MO. Maximum of five hens are allowed. Must be kept in sanitary conditions, and may not present a public nuisance. Cockfighting is prohibited.
Hermann, MO. No one can allow their chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys or pigeons to roam at large.
St. Louis, MO. You can keep up to four chickens without a permit. If you want to keep more, you must file a permit (cost is $40) with the Health Commissioner.
Asheville, NC. Must have permit, must keep chickens 100ft. from
neighboring households, chickens must be penned, the enclosure inspected
by the City, and droppings must be "collected and sealed in a container."
Black Mountain, NC. There are no laws specifically prohibiting chickens, but do not let your chickens smell, keep roosters, wander at large, or otherwise bother neighbors.
Chapel Hill, NC. 20 chickens allowed.
Charlotte, NC. A permit is required to maintain domestic fowl. The premises must first be inspected for cleanliness and space requirements, and the permit cost is $40 annually.
Durham, NC. Up to 10 female chickens allowed in city backyards. Birds can be no closer than 15 ft. from your property line and you must get permits which regulate your coop location and construction.
Franklinton, NC. People are currently (2011) trying to assemble other chicken-fanciers in the town who would like to see the town ordinance for keeping chickens on one’s own personal property changed.
Raleigh, NC. No limit on number of chickens kept.
Wake Forest, NC. Residents can keep up to 10 hens.
Woodfin, NC. There are no restrictions on keeping chickens if you own at least one acre.
Grand Forks, ND. You can keep chickens, provided they are kept
75 feet from any neighboring dwelling. If your yard is this big,
your chickens must never become a “public nuisance.”
Minot, ND. No person shall keep fowl of any kind or pigeons within the city, except in those commercial zones where such animals are kept for sale.
Lincoln, NE. Can have two chickens without a permit.
Omaha, NE. May have chickens in city limits as long as they are hens, no roosters, for egg production. Must have enclosure, subject to The Humane Society inspection, to apply for permit.
Papillion, NE. Zoning Code does not allow for chickens except in rural zones outside of city limits.
Hampstead, NH. Zoning regulations have no mention of chickens.
The Town Hall says: The keeping of animals shall not create a health or
safety issue, and fences shall be erected that are adequate to prevent
animals from escaping.
Long Branch, NJ. The code in Long Branch does not make any specific
mention of chickens. I've been doing some research preparing to get
a couple pet hens. May have to make the argument that they
are domestic pets but no definition of domestic pet is given. “The
keeping of any animal or bird which by causing frequent or long-continued
noise shall disturb the comfort or repose of any persons in the vicinity.”
Red Bank, NJ. No poultry or fowl for any purpose may be kept inside of or within 40 feet of any house, dwelling or store. No more than 12 of any fowl or poultry can be kept without a permit. Any fowl or poultry must be kept and maintained in a pen, coop, yard or enclosure.
Albuquerque, NM. Zoning allows the raising of unlimited poultry
if penned at least 20 feet from neighboring dwellings.
Santa Fe, NM. Unlimited chickens allowed.
Henderson, NV. No roosters allowed. No fowl allowed within
350 feet of any dwelling owned by another person unless such other person
shall have filed with the animal control officer a written consent authorizing
the keeping of such fowl within 350 of the dwelling.
Las Vegas, NV. Roosters not allowed. Hens allowed if kept in a coop, but must notify Animal Control first. Chickens can’t be kept in a basement, house or cellar.
Albany, NY. Since 1999, no farm animal or fowl are allowed within
the City of Albany. This include cows, cattle, horses, ponies, donkeys,
mules, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, Violators
punishable by up to a $250 fine or by imprisonment for up to 15 days or
both. New law allowing
chickens is being debated, so seek out fellow chicken-keepers if you live in Albany, NY and team up to get this law changed.
Binghamton, NY. In the city, you can not have more than 4 chickens OR rabbits. And can only keep them as long as the noise/smell doesn't bother your neighbors.
Huntington, NY. Residents are now allowed (as of July 2009) to keep up to 8 hens but no roosters. Per Chapter 78 article 3 of the town code. .
Ithaca, NY. The law explicitly prohibits keeping "poultry, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese or any other fowl" amongst other specific animals, and generally any other animal except domesticated pets.
New Hempstead, NY. The maintenance of 4 or fewer fowl (chickens, ducks, etc.) is permitted. No roosters. All fowl shall be kept in an enclosure area at least 75 feet from any lot line.
New York City, NY. Chickens are considered pets under the Health Code. Unlimited number of hens allowed; no roosters or other types of poultry. Code mentions cleanliness of chicken area must be kept clean.
Oswego, NY. Chickens not allowed. Can only have chickens that were "grandfathered."
Riga / Churchville, NY. Chickens allowed but all housing of livestock has to be 100 ft. off of any lot lines.
Schenectady, NY. You can't have an "accessory structure" for "the raising of livestock, poultry or other objectionable farming activities." Then again, it says, "All food within the City of Schenectady for feeding chickens, cows, pigs, horses and other animals shall be stored in rat-free and rat-proof containers or compartments or rooms, unless stored in a rat-proof building." Chapter 144-1 of the code says it covers "fowl" but only lists 4-footed livestock and says they can't run at large in the street. http://schenectadylandlords.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/codes20090701.pdf
Smithtown, NY. The only animal ordinance they appear to have is for horses. No rules on chickens, other than the eggs cannot be sold.
Syracuse, NY. Chickens sometimes allowed. Depends on zoning. No roosters.
Akron, OH. No person shall keep chickens or other poultry in any
dwelling, or within one hundred feet thereof. (We need clarification
on these laws for Akron.)
Beachwood, OH. Just passed an emergency ordinance prohibiting fowl, ducks and goats, with no grandfathering clauses allowed.
Cincinnati, OH. Chickens and other animals kept in the city must not create foul odors or be a health menace. All pens and other structures must be kept clean and free from vermin and odors, Manure must be removed daily, placed in leakproof covered containers which are disinfected after each emptying, and disposed of according to health regulations.
Cleveland, OH. Chicken allowed; up to 6 birds per standard residential lot. Roosters are allowed, and no permit is required.
Johnstown OH. http://tinyurl.com/26krawg
Toledo, OH. Chickens are permitted with a written variance from the city health inspector.
Ponca City, OK. Chickens must be kept 100 ft. from neighbor's
houses, so this essentially makes keeping chickens impossible on normal
Stillwater, OK. Chickens may not be kept within 150 feet of any house. In addition, any pen for poultry must enclose a minimum of 900 square feet.
Tulsa, OK. Chickens must be in pens or buildings located at least 50 feet from your property line. Do not exceed 6 adult birds and 14 chicks. You have to put screens on your coop so as to discourage flies.
Albany, OR. Not more than two chickens on any lot less than 7,000
square feet in area. Keep chickens10 feet from adjoining property
lines and 20 feet from any public right-of-way.
Beaverton, OR. Except for “household pets,” no person shall keep or maintain livestock or poultry within the city.... http://groups.google.com/group/brightgreenbeaverton . . . Update: As of 2010 chickens are allowed: http://tinyurl.com/2aeloqg -or- http://tinyurl.com/2aeloqg
Coos Bay, OR. Chickens appear to be allowed; you have to purchase a one year permit and renew it every year, though.
Corvallis, OR. Unlimited chickens allowed. No roosters. Chickens must be penned.
Eugene, OR. A maximum of 2 hens, no roosters, kept 20 feet from dwellings.
Gresham, OR. Unlimited “livestock” allowed, provided they are kept 100ft. from neighbors, which is possible only on uncommonly large lots.
Hillsboro OR. New regulations as of Dec. 2010. Chickens are legal in Hillsboro but you must have a $25 permit. A 7k – 10k square foot lot can have up to 3 chickens, kept 10 feet from property lines. See: http://www.ci.hillsboro.or.us/Planning/AnimalRegulations/CityAnimalRegulations.aspx
OR. Chickens are illegal but they work “on the complaint basis.”
If no one complains you can keep them. If they do, you have to remove
Lake Oswego, OR. The town Clerk here says there is no limit on the number of chickens. Roosters are not prohibited, but if they crow they might be out of compliance with the noise ordinance.
Lebanon, OR. No fowl of any kind are allowed within Lebanon city limits. However, chickens are dealt with on a complaint-basis.
Milwaukie, OR. Up to 50 chickens, including roosters, except if neighbors complain, then noise violations will apply.
Newberg, OR. Up to six hens (no roosters) are allowed, although a (free) permit is required. They must be penned, but the coop can be anywhere on the property. To get the free permit, the animal control officer comes and does a quick inspection to make sure the birds have an appropriate home, and they don’t particularly mind if you already have the birds without a permit.
Oregon City, OR. You may keep 5 or fewer hens on a lot of 10,000 square feet if the chicken’s housing is kept 40 feet from the front property line, 20 feet from
all other property lines, and 25 feet from the dwelling. Roosters prohibited.
Portland, OR. Three hens allowed without a permit. No roosters. Permit for more costs $31. Keep 25ft. from residences.
Salem, OR. There have been recent debates in Salem regarding the current law that chickens are illegal here. UPDATE: They are now legal: http://www.salemchickens.com/
Stayton, OR. Unlimited chickens allowed for personal use only, not commercial selling of eggs. No laws concerning roosters, but if neighbors complain, the City will ask you to get rid of them. Chickens must be kept 10 feet from property lines.
Tigard, OR. No poultry or livestock, other than normal household pets, may be housed or in a fenced run within 100 feet of any nearby residence except a dwelling on the same lot
Catawissa, PA. Chickens must be confined, no closer than 10 feet from
neighboring properties, kept clean with no odors emanating across property
Fort Washington, PA. Can keep an unlimited number of chickens as long as noise/odor does not violate local laws (i.e., can't be absurdly loud or smelly).
Lancaster, PA: No livestock or poultry can be kept within city limits
Pittsburgh, PA. "Fowl at large” are not permitted in unenclosed areas, other peoples' property, or public lands. Also, “no more than 5 pets per household" city limit and animal nuisance prohibitions as well.
State College, PA. As of 2008, this town is considering an ordinance that would allow borough residents to raise up to four hens in backyard coops, provided a strict series of health and zoning controls are met. Legal to raise chickens provided they are housed “under sanitary conditions" and that they "shall not become either a public or private nuisance." No mention of numbers restrictions. Keeping chickens in College Township in residential areas is not permitted.
Shaler, PA. You can't keep game cocks. It appears keeping hens is allowed.
Aiken, SC. Chickens must be penned, and the pen kept 40 ft. from
Columbia, SC. As of November 2009, Columbia, SC considers allowing 4 hens, no roosters, per household. See this article for more info: http://www.thestate.com/local/story/1024203.html
Summerville, SC. It shall be unlawful for any person to permit or allow any chickens, ducks, geese or other poultry of any kind or description to run at large.
Rapid City, SD. No poultry can be kept on a lot smaller than three acres,
or within 150 feet of a residence other than the owner’s.
Sioux Falls, SD. You can keep chickens, but they can’t be a “nuisance,” per City Code Sec. 7-8. This also goes for all domestic fowl.
Clarksville, TN. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or
allow to be kept cattle, horses, sheep, goats, swine or poultry of any
kind in any residential section within the city municipal corporate limits
except as allowed by applicable city zoning law.
Columbia, TN. The City Code mentioned chickens, but simply says to not let them run at large, nor to let them come within 1,000 feet of any residence, place of business, or public street without a permit from the city manager.
Nashville, TN. Has an unlimited chicken law assuming “No person shall keep chickens within the metropolitan government area in such a manner that a nuisance is created” and are kept penned, no “fowl at large.”
Spring Hill, TN. As of 2010, you may not have chickens or any “farm” animal in the city limits.
Arlington, TX. You must have a lot that is larger than a half
an acre to lawfully keep hens (no roosters) here. Even so, you may
only keep four hens. If you have a lot over 1/2 acre, then you must
still keep the chickens 50 ft. away from neighboring houses, and you must
keep them penned. Essentially, you can keep 4 chickens if they are
more than 50 feet from your neighbors
Austin, TX. Up to 10 fowl per household, but keep in enclosure that's 50 ft. away from neighbors. Other soucres say there is currently no limit on the number of chickens you can keep here. The city is considering banning roosters.
Baytown, TX. Chickens allowed, but they have to be 100 ft. from neighbors, and many lots aren’t big enough to meet that requirement.
Dallas TX. The ordinances for this city do not appear to address keeping poultry.
Fort Worth, TX. Can have up to 12 chickens within the city limits on a residentially zoned lot. They have to be in a chicken coop and the coop has to be at least 50 feet away from any house. That includes your own house and any neighbors' houses.
Garland, TX. Limit 2 hens.
Grand Prairie, TX. You have to be able to keep your chickens 150 feet away from any neighboring structures that house people, which is pretty difficult to do on a city or suburb lot.
Houston, TX. Chickens may be kept on a lot which measures at least 65 feet X 125 feet: 30 chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, peafowl, rabbits or guinea pigs or 40 of any combination of the above.
Irving, TX. According to the Parks & Rec department here, "In recognition of changing demographics, we no longer have restrictions on livestock."
Laredo, TX. If you keep 6 or fewer chickens, set-backs are not restricted. If you keep more than 6 chickens, you must keep the pen 100 ft. from any occupied building, besides your own.
Lewisville, TX. Up to five individual fowl per each one-fourth acre of land may be kept upon the premises. Fowl must be kept in a pen or other enclosure located at least 150 feet from any residential dwelling, office building, school building, church, business, or other structure under separate ownership which is intended for human habitation or use. Such pen or enclosure must provide at least 100 square feet of exercise area for each bird kept therein. In order to minimize the potential for noise nuisances to adjacent or nearby premises, roosters capable of crowing shall not be allowed to be kept within 1,500 feet of any residential dwelling, office building, school building, church, business, or other structure under separate ownership which is intended for human habitation or use.
Longview, TX. Ordinance #3141.3, Sec. 13-27: "Regulations relating to keeping of poultry and birds," an unlimited number of chickens may be kept in any structure that has a secure top, sides, and bottom, and provides shelter from rain. This structure must sit 100 feet from any neighboring property.
Mansfield, TX. Your lot must be 20,000 square feet in order to keep chickens.
Murphy, TX. Limit 2 hens.
Richardson, TX. Chickens are allowed, barring offensive noises or smells.
Round Rock, TX. Up to 5 fowl if your chicken pen is 25 ft. away from neighbor's residences. If the pen is 50 ft. away, you can have 10 fowl.
San Antonio, TX. Up to 5 of any kind of fowl, any gender, per household. Must keep in a pen, 20 feet from any other dwelling. The laws in this city have been recently updated (2010): Residents now allowed to have up to 3 chickens, any gender, but must remain in an enclosure. Permits may be issued if you want more than 3 chickens.
Sachse, TX. Limit 15 small livestock.
St. Paul. TX. The topic of chickens is not covered in the city ordinance.
Victoria, TX. No person shall keep, feed, raise, or maintain fowl within the city except under the following conditions: Such fowl shall be kept in a pen or enclosure at least one hundred (100) feet from every dwelling other than that of the owner of such fowl. Such enclosure shall be kept sanitary so as to prevent the development of health hazards or offensive. No more than twenty-five (25) poultry may be raised within such enclosure.
Waco, TX. Livestock is allowed inside the City of Waco as long as the pen is located at least 200 feet from the nearest neighbor in a straight line at the closest points.
Wylie, TX. Chickens banned.
Brigham City, UT. Definition of domesticated animal includes 'fowls'
Section 4:01.16 defines that the pets can be kept in humane enclosure
not larger than 50 cubic feet. It also states that 'household pets'
will be no more than 6 birds.
Ogden, UT. It is unlawful for any person to keep any chickens, ducks, pigeons or other fowl in the City limits unless the same are at all times kept confined in proper pens or enclosures. All such pens or enclosures shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition and shall not be placed or maintained within 75 feet of any dwelling.
Orem City, UT. Limit of poultry/fowl: 20 on a lot under one acre, and must be kept 40 ft. from dwelling on same lot or 85 ft. from neighboring dwelling. Currently you must have at least one acre of property to have any chickens at all, legally.
Salt Lake City, UT. You can keep up to 25 chickens (no reference to roosters) with a permit, and the coop must be placed 50 feet from nearby houses.
Alexandria, VA. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or
allow to be kept within the city, within 200 feet of any residence or dwelling
not occupied by such person, any fowl, a provision that essentially precludes
Fairfax County, VA. Chickens over 2 months are classified as "domestic fowl" and are allowed on any lot of 2 or more acres. Chickens are allowed only on lots of two acres or more, and hen houses cannot be closer than 100 feet from a neighboring property line.
Falls Church, VA. Chicken keeping falls under requirements for stables, which must be 40 feet from a residence and have the written permission of the city manager, said Becky Keenan, the city's animal warden.
Frederick County, VA. Frederick County, Virginia laws only say you must keep fowl fenced.
Henrico County, VA. Poultry permitted if kept 400 feet from adjacent property.
Montgomery County, VA. A chicken coop can be no closer than 100 feet from neighboring structures where people live or work.
Newport News, VA. A chicken coop can be no closer than 175 feet from neighboring structures where people live or work. And 300 feet from any school. So as you can imagine, not many city lot owners can keep chickens *legally*.
Richmond City, VA. No person shall keep, place or maintain fowl on any parcel of real property in the city which contains less than 50,000 square feet in area.
Richmond, VA. Can only keep chickens if your lot is 50,000 square feet or larger.
Fairfax City, VA. Chickens are allowed in residential districts
R-1 and R-2. Animals can be kept no closer than 100 feet from a property
Burlington, VT. Up to 3 fowl per household.
Battle Ground, WA. No restrictions on poultry or game birds, and
roosters are allowed.
Bothell, WA. You may own 3 or less fowl. Must keep coop 20 ft. from your own property line. If your neighbors say it’s okay, you may place chickens closer to your shared property line.
Camas, WA. The city code doesn’t appear to explicitly outlaw chickens, but it just says you can’t keep any animal that becomes a “public nuisance.” And nuisance is defined there as “…annoying noise or odor, causing detriment to the health, safety and welfare of neighboring persons and properties…kept in such manner as to be nauseous, foul or offensive.”
Edmonds, WA. As of November 15, 2009, up to three hens (no roosters) may be kept per single family lot.
Everett, WA. No roosters. Five hens allowed without a permit. If you want more than five, you must get a facility license permit from Animal Services. This requires inspection of your facilities/property. Chickens must be kept enclosed.
Gig Harbor, WA. No regulations for animals except bees.
Kent, WA. Up to 3 domesticated fowl may be kept on any lot that is at least 5,000 square feet. Coop must be located no closer than 10 feet from any other residential lot.
La Center, WA. Having a few chickens is neither specifically permitted nor prohibited under La Center current code. Conform to nuisance and health rules.
Lynnwood, WA. An accessory building for the housing of small animals or fowl shall not exceed 36 square feet in floor area when located on a residential lot and neither the building nor the fenced area for roaming shall be closer than 25 feet to a property line.
Mill Creek, WA. If you want to keep chickens, the square footage of your lot must be 7,500 sq. ft. Up to six hens allowed. Roosters illegal. thoroughfare.
Olympia, WA. Up to 3 birds, hens are considered, roosters prohibited.
Richland. WA. Each dwelling unit and the accompanying lot or common area is limited to five (5) household pets. (chickens are considered household pets). "Household Pets" means any dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks, geese, pigeons, chickens or other similar animals over the age of six (6) months.
Seatac, WA. Up to five chickens (including roosters) on any sized lot. The total number of chickens allowed will be reduced by the number of other animals (including cats and dogs) on the property.
Seattle, WA. Major update from Nov. 2010 for chickens in Seattle: Up to eight domestic fowl may be kept on any lot. Roosters are not permitted. Hen house must be located at least 10 feet away from any residential structure on an adjacent lot.
Sedro-Woolley, WA. It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to maintain any stable, pen, lot, place, or premises in which any horses, cattle, hogs, sheep, goats, mink, fox, chinchilla, or any other animals, or in which any chickens, ducks, or other fowl or poultry may be confined or kept in such manner as to be nauseous, foul, or offensive to any community, neighbor, family, or person, or to allow such animals to roam at large within the city limits. (Ord. 828 § 4, 1976)
Spokane, WA. Up to three chickens allowed.. Can have up to three animals total.
Tacoma, WA. Livestock allowed in the city
Vancouver, WA. Chickens are allowed, however roosters and peacocks are not.
Woodinville, WA. No restrictions in the code for animals according to the planning department.
Yacolt, WA. Permit required. You have to draw a map of your property showing where you are going to place your coop and submit it to Town Hall.
Caledonia, WI. A recent fight with city hall here resulted in
a no-chickens-allowed ordinance. There are a number of articles on-line
about the debate in this city.
Ellsworth, WI. Pierce County has a medical officer do a visual check of your property. A permit of $50 is required. Up to 10 hens allowed. Keeping birds in a chicken tractor would keep you from having to get a building permit.
Fond du Lac, WI. No chickens allowed in this city as they are considered a public nuisance.
Greebay, WI. The law reads: May have 4 birds over 8 inches tall per residence plus a clutch or part of a clutch for 8 weeks.
Madison, WI. Up to four chickens per household. Not allowed to roam free. Keep pen 25 ft. from neighbors. $10 annual permit required. Hens only; no roosters allowed.
Mayville, WI. No poultry in the City of Mayville, WI
Shorewood Hills, WI. It is said that the village Clerk keeps six hens. Noise and smell are regulated, but not the number of chickens.
Casper, WY. Chickens sometimes allowed. Can have chickens in special
circumstances, like 4-H.
Laramie, Wyoming. Hen chickens allowed in city for education and personal consumption. 20’ from neighboring residences.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The City Council voted against allowing
chickens in June, 2010.
Esquimalt, British Columbia, Canada. Up to 10 caged "ornamental birds" (kept primarily for show) are allowed. It appears up to 4 hens, no roosters, are allowed in most zonings.
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Chickens are prohibited.
Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), Canada: Hens are only permitted in areas zoned as "agricultural" or "mixed use". Areas zoned "residential" may not have hens under the current rules, excluding urban residents from legally keeping hens. However, enforcement of the restriction is complaint-driven.
London, Ontario, Canada. Prohibits chickens within its municipal boundaries. Here's the by-law: http://www.london.ca/By-laws/PDFs/animals2000.pdf
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Chickens are prohibited.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. As of May, 2010 up to 4 chickens allowed (no roosters) and owners must register their chickens.
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Has a bylaw that supports raising urban poultry. No Roosters. No "Farm Animals". Poultry are not classified as "farm animals" under Victoria's bylaws.
Katy, Your website is very cool. I like it very much…I came across
your website to help me out. Now your website is in my favorites…”
---- Rob M., Tulare, CA
“Dear Katy, Hi from Cindylou here at MaryJanesFarm.com. Your website is wonderful! I know quite a few ‘farmgirls’ who have chickens, as well as chicken tractors and straw bale chicken coops. I will let them know about your website. She might include your website in a future magazine, so that other gals can find you. I will also let the gals on our Farmgirl Connection Forum know. There are always new ‘farmgirls’ interested in having chickens in the city! Keep up the good work!” ---Cindylou
Katy...I have to compliment you on your excellent website! I never
thought I could keep chickens since I lived in the city, but it turns out
I can have five! Not only that, I am currently building a chicken tractor
for my four chicks that was inspired by one of the photos on your website!
Keep up the good work!" ---R.M.,
Round Rock, TX
table of contents:
MAIN PAGE . . . . . . . . . CHICKEN TRACTOR GALLERY . . .. . . . . . . .PICTORIAL HISTORY . . . . . . . . . . .F.A.Q. . . . . . . . . . . .ARTICLES . . . . . . . . . . CHICKEN LAWS . . . . . . . . . . . BROODING CHICKS . . . . . . . . . HEN HOUSE of the MONTH . . . . . . . . .THE SCOOP ON POOP . . . . . . . . . . . BEAUTIFUL CHICKENS