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Chicken — and Dog — Regulations for Selected Cities

(The information in this chart was compiled in 2003 by Catherine Hallier.)




Spokane, WA Up to three Up to three Can have up to three animals.
Falls Church, VA Not allowed Up to four No "agricultural animals."
Topeka, KS Unlimited Unlimited Chickens must be penned 50 feet from neighbor's house.
Syracuse, NY Sometimes Up to three Depends on zoning. No roosters.
Mobile, AL Unlimited Unlimited No breeding, no roosters.
Santa Rosa, CA Up to 25 Unlimited May have 25 chickens per 20,000 squre feet. No chickens in residential areas zoned R1, R2 or PRC.
Westfield, MA Not allowed Up to five No "livestock." Maximum of five cats and dogs.
Casper, WY Sometimes Up to three Can have chickens in special circumstances, like 4-H.
Corvallis, OR Unlimited Unlimited No roosters. Chickens must be penned.
Santa Fe, NM Unlimited Unlimited --
Little Rock, AR Up to four Up to four Up to four animals total.
Oswego, NY Not allowed Unlimited Can only have chickens that were "grandfathered."
New York City Unlimited Unlimited Must have permit for chickens. Must be kept clean. No other poultry allowed, no roosters.
Chicago, IL Unlimited Unlimited Can have unlimited chickens if use is only for pets or eggs; cannot have if use is to slaughter. Must be penned.
Seattle, WA Three or more Three or more Can have a total of three small animals; more if the lot is large.
Houston, TX Up to 30 Unlimited Chickens must be 100 feet from neighboring structures.
Detroit, MI Not allowed Unlimited No "farm animals."
Miami, FL Up to 15 Unlimited May have up to 15 hens, no roosters. Must be contained at least 100 feet from neighboring structures.
Minneapolis, MN Unlimited Up to three Applicant needs consent from 80 percent of neighbors within 100 feet of real estate. Chickens must be penned.
Los Angeles, CA Unlimited Up to three Chickens may not be within 20 feet of owner's residence, and must be at least 35 feet from any other dwelling.

For more information, you can find a compiled list of chicken regulations at The City Chicken.

Visit our online forum to discuss questions, concerns and advice about laws and regulations for keeping chickens in your back yard.

Post a comment below.


1/2/2010 9:00:01 AM
This is obviously not accurate as I live in Westfield, MA and there are many farms here with livestock including chickens. My understanding, after speaking with some farmers, is that you need at least 5 acres of land to have chickens.

8/5/2009 7:37:06 PM
I always see that quite a few large, highly populated cities do allow hens in the city limits. Interesting though, that Knoxville,Tn seems to still be behind the times in allowing them. We have a lot more problems with dogs and cats and the lack of care for these animals than I have ever seen with hens and/or farm type animals. For one thing, with specific rules, keeping chickens could be enforced better than an animal that is kept in the house. ie would be easier to see that there are no roosters in the flock, etc... Oh, yes, if properly kept, we probably wouldn't hear of a hen attacking and biting a person.

judy m
1/30/2009 4:13:16 PM
just this past week i read in the FREE PRESS that Ann Arbor,Mi has changed their regulations to permit 4 hens. We are making progess

1/27/2009 11:50:23 AM
Interesting that Detroit, MI allows no chickens but unlimited dogs. I live in MI and in the past 5 years we have had several cases of COL (Crazy Old Ladies) who have 50+ cats in one house, with piles of feces everywhere. The local animal shelter had to remove the cats and destroy them all, since it is impossible to find homes for 50+ cats in 7 days, the limit the shelter will house "found" animals. I would think your typical farmer person would be much more responsible and clean with chickens than these COLs with cats.

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