Urban Chicken Keeping Laws

Ready to keep backyard chickens… but you found out it’s illegal?  Don’t despair.  With a little research, time and community organizing, you too can legalize at home egg production.

It can be done.

Many cities have changed their ordinances to allow for backyard chicken keeping.  If you are brand new to the world of chicken keeping ordinances, you’ll find this research paper helpful – Residential Urban Chicken Keeping: An Examination of 25 CitiesAlso, see our resources page for more information on successful chicken programs and groups around the US.

You’re not alone.

It’s highly unlikely you are the only person in your city who wants to keep chickens- organize these folks and make some new friends in the process. There may even be a local political leader who is pro-chicken and willing to champion your cause.  Also, there’s bound to be a successful chicken keeping legalization story in your state or region and you can look to them for guidance and support.

Avoid going rogue.

Hiding chickens.  It crosses everyone’s mind when they want to keep backyard chickens and it’s illegal to do so.  While creative coop design and great neighbors can allow you to keep chickens under the radar, this situation has ended badly for some.  When a new neighbor moves in or the word spreads some other way, you could be faced with a fine and/or your birds being confiscated.  Additionally, not following the law could result in undermining the efforts of a chicken legalization campaign.  Try changing the system first.  Besides, illegal chicken keeping is lonely and less fun- you can’t have coop tours, classes, and other chicken events out in the open!