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Keeping backyard chickens

Large flock in their Omlet Eglu Pro Chicken Coop

Large flocks rocks but it’s important to check any restrictions in your neighborhood regarding how many hens you can keep.

Like other pets, there are laws that apply to keeping chickens – especially in cities or neighborhoods. The laws concerning chickens vary widely between states, counties, towns, and even homeowner associations (HOAs). These regulations change frequently, with chicken keepers and aspiring keepers alike appealing to the governing forces to successfully change or update ordinances in favor of flocks. Overall, there are common themes when it comes to laws about keeping chickens.

Types of restrictions or specifications in chicken laws

Here are the most common types of restrictions or specifications set forth in laws concerning chickens:

  • Limit to number of chickens kept at any given time
  • Restricting the presence of a rooster
  • The definition of chickens as livestock vs pets
  • The size, type, or location of a chicken coop
  • Permit requirements (usually needed for permanent or homemade coops)
  • Requirements for the sale of eggs

Who to contact before getting chickens

First, you’ll want to check the laws at the state level to see if any apply to keeping chickens. Some states leave it up to individual municipalities, while others have blanket laws that apply state-wide. Once you’ve confirmed how to proceed with the state, you’ll need to check with your city zoning office if you live within city limits. Going one step further, if your home is subject to an HOA, you’ll need to check their by-laws before getting chickens. Many HOAs have restrictions on the types or number of pets homeowners can have, but these can be appealed at HOA meetings.

Lastly, it’s common courtesy to check with your neighbors before bringing chickens home. Hens aren’t as noisy as roosters, but they still emit some noises that your neighbors can hear. Talk to them about your plans for coop placement and the number of hens you plan to keep. And, it doesn’t hurt to offer some fresh eggs from time to time to sweeten the deal.

Omlet and your backyard flock

With a wide range of expertly designed chicken coops and chicken runs, we have the chicken-keeping essentials to keep your flock in compliance with local laws. And, with unique chicken perches, chicken swings, and other chicken toys and accessories, you’ll add an irresistible touch of whimsy to your backyard flock – making them the talk of the neighborhood.

Customer Images


Vic, 11 April 2021

Our neighbors a couple doors down have chickens and they let them run free. I can’t even let my dog out. My husband went and talk to them but they Don’t speak English. So how can I prevent this from happening and what happens if my dog eats one

Ron, 24 February 2020

My neighbors have at least a dozen chicken hens and 1 rooster. Which they let roam freely even when they are gone. Day and night. They come in our yard. We can't even let our dog run in our own yard because of the chickens being there. We have spoken with them several xs They just say well this is Kentucky. What can We do legally to keep there chickens out of Our yard/property? What laws do the neighbors with the chickens need to follow and abide by? ThankYou. God bless!

Martha, 5 February 2020

Chickens roaming in my yard,no one claims ownership.Can I give them away?

Leslie, 31 August 2019

My neighbor has a chicken coop but never keeps her chickens in it. They are constantly in my yard and my dog killed some of them. Shouldn't she have to keep them in the coop and out of my yard?

Susan, 25 June 2019

My neighbor recently got chickens which is fine but they allow them to run loose all day and they leave the property and go into the street and have come into my yard. My three terriers are not happy and I’m afraid they may eventually catch and kill one when it comes over. Are they allowed to run loose like that?