Where can I LEGALLY keep chickens in Chicagoland?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by LBP24, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. LBP24

    LBP24 New Egg

    Apr 24, 2009
    Apologies in advance if this thread has come up!

    I'm a long-time resident of the Chicago suburbs, located near O'Hare airport. I've been thinking about raising chickens for some time and would like to start next spring (2010). The problem: my 'burb doesn't allow any 'fowl', including chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, pigeons, or guineafowl (my municipal code actually specifies guineafowl [​IMG]).

    I tried speaking to some more open members of the town board; they were sympathetic (one even pointed out there is no limit on the number of dogs one can keep in town) but very doubtful that I could get the ordinance changed. Although I explained that a few well-maintained hens are not noisy, smelly, or disease-ridden, only one of our neighbors didn't balk at the idea--so I doubt I can count on immediate, local support.

    It's really disappointing, especially considering that it is legal to keep hens in the City of Chicago proper! Considering the current property market (and the fact I'd like to expand my garden further), I'm considering purchasing additional land. I don't need or want much...1/4 acre or less, and nearby so I could tend it every day.

    I've been looking through the municipal codes of surrounding suburbs but many are not available online. Just wondering--anyone at BYC raising chickens (legally!) in the North or West Chicago suburbs? Also, any experience with raising chickens 'offsite'--I expect it's not as much fun as having them immediately outside your house, but what are other drawbacks?
  2. lux_interior

    lux_interior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2009
    I'm not sure about the exact laws in Chicago, especially in your area, but I live in joliet, and am able to keep chickens because my neighborhood is unincorporated..... but also, I have an uncle who lives right by midway off cicero, and he has 5 chickens and 2 ducks who walk around the yard of his corner lot surrounded only by a 5 foot chain link fence. They are definitely right out in the open, and he's had them for a few years, lives across the street from a police officer, and he's never had a problem. I figure, if he can keep them that way, the rest of us in chicagoland should be ok!
  3. CATRAY44

    CATRAY44 Lard Cookin Chicken Woman

  4. Yanna

    Yanna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2008
    The City of Chicago *is* the only municipality around here in which you can legally keep chickens or other fowl.

    I bought a house last year and went through dozens and dozens of municipal codes looking for suburbs that would allow them. I *thought* the city where I bought a house allowed them - but their ban was not in their muni code, it was in a zoning addendum that wasn't with the body of the city code. SO - I now have a house in a medium sized city where I illegally keep chickens, ducks and coturnix quail.

    At least in my city, which is incredibly traditional, one crazy chicken lady isn't enough for city politicians to take notice of. If/when there are enough numbers and support in the urban garden club I've started up, maybe we will address the issue of changing local ordinances. Until that time, I'm relying on the fact that my neighbors have noisy dogs to cloak my 2 free ranging ducks (the chickens are in a big coop in my garage and the quail are in the garage, as well).

    You might try getting something in unincorporated DuPage or Will Counties - Will County has plenty of farm acreage for sale and is more affordable, certainly.

    For what it's worth, I waited for several years because I wanted to obey the local laws - in hindsight, I wish I had just broken them to begin with. MOST hens are relatively unobtrusive and the benefits to the breakfast plate and the compost heap are truly amazing (in addition to the fact that chickens are AMAZING pets). As long as you keep a dialogue open with your neighbors, asking if "your pets are disturbing them" and "if there is anything you can do, please call", things should be hunky dory.

    If you want to talk chicken, feel free to send a message.
  5. Brittany0309

    Brittany0309 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 16, 2012
    This thread is old, I realize, but for future people who read it for advice I can say from experience that fowl ARE legal in Crest hill and Manhattan. Joliet's codes are stated the exact same as Crest Hill's so I would think they are legal there, too. You jsut have to have your chickens, ducks, etc in an enclosure (like a fenced in yard) They can't completely roam free and you can't bring them to the park, say, and let them crap there. : )
  6. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    That's good news! Did you fill out the legal fowl laws in the BYC section? That would help our future chicken owners to look up the ordiances themselves!

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