Hens for Houston

A movement to keep Houston current by allowing the raising of chicken hens on city lots

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  • Barred Rocks are generally calm hens which lay light to medium brown, slightly pinkish large eggs.
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Other Cities

Compare our proposed ordinance to the regulations, permitting process, and enforcement rules for raising chickens in other major cities.

KT LaBadie summaries the ordinances of chicken-friendly cities nicely in her research paper: Residential Urban Chicken Keeping: An Examination of 25 Cities.

Cities Regulations Permitting Process Enforcement Source
Bellaire, TX No restrictions None Noise and nuisance clauses apply Interview with Bellaire Animal Control, 5/2012
San Antonio, TX 3 chickens without a permit. Must have a clean enclosure More than 3 requires a permit, and then kept 50 ft from neighboring residences Noise, sanitation and nuisance clauses apply. Sec. 5-109 City Code
Dallas, TX Chickens are considered domestic animals and are allowed. Roosters must be confined and at least 20 feet away from any adjacent property line. Noise restrictions exist N/A Up to $2,000.00 if public health or sanitation provision is violated. Up to $500.00 for all other offenses Sec. 7-1.1 Definitions, Sec. 7-7.3 Keeping of Roosters, Sec. 7-8.1 Violations; Criminals and Civil Penalties, Dallas City Code
Seattle, WA 8 chickens allowed. No roosters. Must be at least 10 feet away from nearest residence. No. City Code
New York, NY No limit to the number of hens allowed, but they must not be allowed to cause a nuisance. No roosters. No permit necessary unless you sell live chickens. $200-$2000 fine if you allow chickens to cause a nuisance.  Animal Health Code
Los Angeles, CA Chickens may not be housed within 20ft of the owner’s dwelling, or within 35 ft of another dwelling. Rooster must be at least 100ft from another dwelling (not of the owner). Only one rooster allowed. No stated limit on number of hens None. $50, $100, $250 for violations for having roosters City of Los Angeles Dept. of Animal Regulations; Ordinance 180889
San Francisco, CA Up to four chickens allowed. Coops must be at least 20 ft from a human habitation. No commercial use of chickens permitted. No. Up to a $100 fine, 30 days in prison, or both. City Code;
San Jose, CA Up to six chickens are allowed without a permit. No roosters older than 40 months old may be kept. Cannot be less than 20 feet from another residence. If more than six chickens, between 20 and 40 ft. If 6-10 chickens, between 40-50 ft. If 10-20 chickens, no less than 50 ft. Permit required for more than six chickens. There is a fee. Animal may be impounded and destroyed if permit denied. Municipal Code
Chicago, IL No slaughtering allowed. No crowing (defined as 10 consecutive minutes or intermittently and louder than average conversation at 100ft). No stated limits on number of chickens. Coop must be clean, sanitary, and of adequate size. None. $50 – $1000 fine for slaughter; $300-$5000 fines for animal cruelty; animal control officers issue citations; $50-$250 per offense for noise Titles 7-12-300, 7-12-290, 7-12-280, 7-12-100
Charlotte, NC  Chickens must be kept in a coop not less than 18 inches in height. Coop must be at least 25 feet away from any property lines. No more than 20 per acre; amount shall be proportionate to acreage. Slaughter that is not regulated by state law or otherwise forbidden should be done humanely and out of view from any public area or adjacent property. Animals are not allowed to be a nuisance. Requires city inspection. Permit costs $40.00.  Fines startingat $50.00 for 1st offense; increase for continuing offenses. Sec. 3-102 – City Permits, Sec. 3-33 – Enforcement, Sec. 3-69 – Nuisance, City Ordinances
 Wisconsin, MI  4 chickens allowed. No roosters. No slaughter. Must be kept in a covered enclosure at all times. Coop must be 25 ft from another residence.  Must get a $10.00 annual license.  $5 late fee if owner doesn’t obtain license before April 1st or within 30 days of acquiring chickens. Madison Municipal Code Chapters 28.08(2)(b)j; 9.52
Baltimore, MD In the city, no more than 4 chickens age 1 month or older. Must be confined in movable, clean, pen, no closer than 25 to any residence. At least 2 ft2/hen, must provide  shade, water, food, a well constructed shelter and vet care when needed. No roosters. County rules do not limit the number of chickens one can own, provided they do not cause a nuisance. City rules supersede county rules. Permit required, one time cost $80 from Bureau of Animal Control, must register with Maryland Dept of Agriculture, Domestic Poultry and Exotic Bird Registration Division City Health Code Title 2, 2-106; Title 10, Subtitles 1 and 3, County Health Code
Salem, OR 3 chickens allowed. No roosters. Must be contained in coop at all times. Coop must be further than 20 ft from another residence. $50 dollar license renewed every 3 years. $2000 fine for license violation if cease & desist and permit suspension rules aren’t followed. City Code
Alvin, TX 7 hens on 6,600 sqft or 2 hens on lots smaller than 4,900 sqft, no roosters on less than an acre. If hens raised as pets, coop must be 25ft from other residences. If for eggs, coop can be less than 25ft away. No. Nuisance clause. Must be penned. City Code
Conroe, TX Unlimited. Pen must provide at least 4 sqft/chicken and must be 20ft from any residence/eating/sleeping facility. No. Unclear. City Code
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