Does your town allow different numbers of chickens per lot size?


12 Years
Apr 25, 2007
Southern Maine
My town is (hopefully) passing a chicken ordinance, which is great...

They are going to propose anyone can have 6 hens, then you'd need 2 acres for anything more than that.
I'd like to request that they add a couple more break-downs of allowable numbers in between, so I am looking for other ordinances (that work!) to back this up with. Can you help?
In my own chicken-raising experience, here's what I think would work well:

Lots less than .5 acres (21,780 sq ft) = maximum 6 hens

Lots .5 to 1.0 acre (43,560 sq ft)= maximum 12 hens

Lots 1.0 to 2.0 acres = maximum 18 hens

Lots greater than 2 acres= no restrictions, roosters allowed
All single family residential is allowed up to five hens. If you are in the Ag district (which is a specific single family residential zone), there is no limit on the poultry allowed. For livestock (poultry are not considered livestock in Arizona, rather they are "smallstock," as are rabbits, cavies and pigeons. There is a limit based upon the lot size, and small animals such as sheep and goats are allowed at twice the number as are large animals such as cattle and horses. Miniature goats and mini-horses are not considered separately, but I think should be as they take even less room.

There is a glitch in the law that the text does not mention multi-family residential as being allowed hens--it specifically says single family residential--however the table that shows allowed uses says up to 5 hens for multi-family residential.
If anyone in an apartment gets cited, it could be interesting, lol.
My county says 20 chickens/acre, but once you have 2 acres, you have no limit! So we on 1.2 acres get 24 chickens (which I have mysteriously hit exactly this week!)
Still seems like not very many... we had more than that on one acre and they only used a third of it and were happy.
I live within the city limits, but the city defaults to the county for zoning restrictions and animal control issues.

Here, the number of "large domestic animals" is determined by lot size and "Animal Density Points."

Here it is:
Large domestic animals or fowl. “Large domestic animals or fowl” shall mean and include domestic horses, burros, and mules (Family Equidac); domestic swine (Family Suidac); domestic cattle, sheep, and goats (Family Bovidac); and all fowl, such as chickens, ducks, and turkeys, that do not constitute wild, exotic, dangerous, or prohibited animals; and American Bison.

(2) Large domestic animals. Large domestic animals shall be allowed as follows:
(i) The minimum lot size for the keeping of any large domestic animal shall be no less than one acre.
(ii) Animals may be kept in numbers not exceeding the allotment of Animal Density Points.
A property one acre in size shall receive 25 Animal Density Points and shall receive 5 additional points for each additional one-fifth (1/5) of an acre. Any combination of the following may be used:
(aa) Beef cows and all similar cattle shall count for 20 points each.
(bb) Horses shall county for 15 points each.
(cc) Mules or pigs shall count for 10 points each.
(dd) Donkeys and burros shall count for 7 points each.
(ee) Sheep, goats, alpacas and similar small hoofed animals shall count for 4 points each.
(ff) Fowl, including chickens, turkeys and ducks, but excluding geese and peacocks (which constitute wild, exotic, dangerous, or prohibited animals), shall count for 1 point each.

Immature animals not yet at the age of sexual maturity shall not count against the total number of animals allowed."

Soooooo......, I live on an acre of land with two houses, my landlady lives in the "front house" and I live in the back house. She keeps 3 Barbados sheep, so that's 12 pts taken up there. I should only have 13 chickens, but I have *ahem* 21 plus 2 ducks. HOWEVER, only 9 chickens are mature! Four will be soon, but the rest have at least two, three, hopefully four months to go. (The ducks are nearly mature, but *I* am not counting them - they're Cayugas and all black and therefore are stealth ducks. Nobody could POSSIBLY see them, right?)
Here in weld county, as long as you are zoned agricultural and you are county and not city then you are allowed 4 animal units per acre. 50 chickens = 1 au, so 200 chickens per acre. we have 8.5 acres so we get 1800 chickens
and this with us being inside city limits, but unincorporated. In city limits of dacono, they only allow 2 ducks and 2 rabbits, thats it. So, take that and use it however you might
Here in Renton Wa. we are allowed 3 hens for the first 6,000 sf. An additional 1 hen for each additional 2,000 sf. So on my 10,000 sf I can have 5 hens, no roosters.
I believe it is the same for unincorporated King County, as I looked it up before we annexed to the city.

Hope this helps,

Thank you, this is all very helpful!! I'll post the full list (I found some others on line) in a couple of days when I've exhausted my research... in case anyone else needs this info for their towns

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