Back yard birds
Keeping city chickens a fun family hobby, but know the law
City dwellers and suburbanites have flown the coop, so to speak. Even here in Northwest Arkansas, a growing interest in raising chickens has enabled coops and nesting birds to spring up in neighborhoods you would not typically associate with chickens.
As with any agricultural enterprise, keeping chickens is subject to a variety of often complex laws and regulations. Most towns and cities in the USA have some local law and/or chicken ordinance regarding livestock and poultry in place and no two towns’ restrictions and allowances are identical, so before you get started with chickens you should find out what the local laws and ordinances in your area are.
First of all find out what jurisdiction you are in, then contact your local government and find out what the laws and ordinances in your city or town are. Go to the information desk at your local municipality and ask to speak to a person who is knowledgeable about the local laws regarding livestock. Most local governments also have online resources available, so it is well worth an online search. If the law is unclear or confusing or if noone at your local municipality knows for sure what the laws are regarding chickens, your local animal control officer may be able to assist you.
• Fayetteville requires 4-20 maximum chickens depending on the square footage of your property. Roosters are not allowed. Coops must be 25 feet from residential dwellings on adjacent lots. Coops must provide a minimum of three square feet per fowl and must have access to a secure enclosure to protect them from predators. No coops are permitted in the front yard area.
• Rogers allows a maximum of 4 chickens within the city limits, and no roosters. A permit is required, there are restrictions as to the size and location of coops. Contact the animal control office or city clerk in your town for more information.
• Springdale allows chickens and roosters only in certain zones. Cleanliness and proximity restrictions apply. Noise ordinances apply. Chickens make wonderful pets, but it’s important to follow all local laws and ordinances.