Backyard Chicken Keeping

Many Chester County residents are interested in raising chickens in their backyard areas for a variety of reasons including the desire for fresh eggs and a natural food source. This etool provides guidance to municipalities interested in allowing for and regulating backyard chickens in traditionally residential zoning districts.

Advantages

Adopting sound ordinance provisions can address the following issues encountered with backyard chickens:

Limitations

This eTool will not address all of the potential conditions that may arise in the course of keeping animals. Chickens may still cause disturbances to neighbors despite the use of the reasonable precautions that are included here.

How to Use this eTool

A backyard chicken ordinance should be adopted as an element of the residential accessory use provisions in the municipal zoning ordinance. See the model ordinance available on this webpage.

The characteristics of a good backyard chicken ordinance include the following elements.

Municipalities should consider the following additional issues:

Examples

How have Chester County municipalities responded to “backyard chicken keeping”?

The following are examples of Chester County township regulations relating to backyard chickens:

Related References

Related eTools

Landscapes2 Relevance

This eTool primarily applies to residential areas in the Suburban Landscape and to higher density residential areas (non-agricultural) in the Rural Landscape. Each municipality needs to decide which zoning districts should allow backyard chicken keeping.