Is Minnesota against backyard chickens???


Queen Of Clueless
11 Years
Jul 27, 2008
Does anyone know if Minnesota has a right to farm act? I heard someone in the city office saying that Minnesota considers chickens farm animals and they dont belong in town. I am just curious if thats true!
I edited the title because what I am wanting to find, I dont believe will be in a city ordinance...
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No, specifically they were saying the state of Minnesota is AGAINST backyard chickens, they consider them only farm animals. I was just wondering if someone would say that just to blow air or if there is something to it.
Most right to farm acts are to protect a specific range of owners usually more than a certain acreage but less than another number. It protects the rights of smaller farmers to farm and not be pushed by large corporate farms who can lobby for local law changes etc and does not usually apply within a city limits, that being said it isn't within state interest to regulate backyards that's a local county, city, town etc issue where it is more manageable.

NOTE: I am not familiar with your right to farm act, I was speaking in general terms.
Okay, my curiousity isnt so much the right to farm act(though I wonder if we even have one) but wanting to know what the states take on backyard chickens is.Sorry I didnt make myself clear.
I have been finding out lately that people will say anything, even when they dont really know.
Not sure if I can answer your question, or if anyone could I could find nothing saying the state is "against" it. Your right to farm act is "Right-to-Farm Law (Minn. Stat. § 561.19 Nuisance liability of agricultural operations.)". Below I posted some cities in MN and their laws. My understanding of backyard chicken laws are they are generally set by local municipalities based on the needs/wants/stereotypes of the community. Hope someone else can answer your question better. Come on MN people

Edina, MN. Chickens not allowed.
Minneapolis, MN. Unlimited. Applicant needs consent from 80 percent of neighbors within 100 feet of real estate. Chickens must be penned.
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.
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.
Thank you, thats interesting.

I BELIEVE Winona allows 12 and Rochester allows 3. Someone was telling me that Rochester DIDNT allow 3 but if that was the case, it had to have been in the past year because about a year ago there was a big article in the paper, quite a debate about it. From what I remember, the 3 allowed ordinance stood.
My town (only my town for a short while longer, we are moving), is 400 people. Apparently the town council thinks that if they allow chickens, then they have to allow other "farm" animals. I dont see why??? They also said if they allow chickens, chickens will be running around all over town. Our town has a bad feral cat population, I am assuming that is what they are basing this on.
I sincerely doubt the state has an official opinion on something that is almost always viewed as being the jurisdiction of cities and towns. State's focus on issues relevant to the state as a whole, not the issues relating to a particular town or towns. If the state dies have a focus on poultry, it will most certainly be as poultry relates to the entire state--entry requirements, testing requirements, reportable diseases, etc.
I just wonder what would bring that particular person in the city office to say that? I too, was of the opinion that states really werent for or against backyard chickens, it was up to the individual towns and such to make those ordinances.
I have a feeling this person was just blowing hot air to make his opinions sound more "valid".
I would love to find some Minnesota articles showing the state is either FOR backyard chickens or at least neutral and bring them into the city office....
It doesn't make any difference what your state says about 'right to farm' as you apparently live within the confines of a municipality. Each city sets it's own rules about land use. Right To Farm laws have to do with keeping farms viable in the middle of suburban sprawl situations. It prevents new subdivision residents from complaining about neighboring and usually pre-existing farm operations that might otherwise be construed as a "nuisance".

I am a lawyer and former township and county planning commissioner in Illinois and chicken owner.

You either need to follow your town's ordinances or lobby to get them changed. You should watch the video "Mad City Chickens" about the Madison experience.

Chickens are a lot less bothersome to neighbors than dogs so long as you don't have roosters and keep the coop clean. If your local ordinance is too restrictive you should band together with other chicken folks in your town and see if you can get them changed.

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