See our growing collection of info about IL Chicken Policies and people organizing for pro-chicken policies where they live. For guidance on searching municipal codes, see below.
If you have new info or updates, please send to (martha AT learngrowconnect.org).
- There's no limit on number of chickens per household, nor is there a ban on roosters.
- Keeping ANY animal for the purpose of slaughtering for food is prohibited. Permitted slaughtering facilities in Chicago (like "Live Poultry" establishments) are monitored by the state under biosecurity protocols.
- Excessive animal noise like crowing (and barking) is prohibited.
- CCE's RECOMMENDED PRACTICES for backyard chickens in Chicago. We promote these standards in classes, Tours, and presentations.
- Our Responses to Common Concerns about Backyard Chickens (attachment below, pdf).
- The draft Chicken Ordinance we reviewed and revised, in case of future need. We recommend not regulating chickens specifically but applying general policies on sanitation, nuisances, and animal care to address issues that may arise.
- Shattering 7 Urban Myths About Raising Chickens OR download the handy 2-page attachment, also below (pdf).
- Kevin Harvey's presentation for debates about Backyard Chickens in Glencoe.
- Our publication, the 2013 Windy City Backyard Chicken Resource Guide. To be a Backyard Chickens Ambassador in your ward (of Chicago) or your town, contact Martha Boyd for more information (martha AT learngrowconnect.org).
Municipal Codes in Chicago and Illinois
Municipal, county, and state codes are increasingly online and searchable by keyword. Search keywords to find related topics and consider the reasons for these policies where you live.
Try: chicken, rooster, poultry, fowl, slaughter, manure, compost, rats, coop, stable, nuisance, noise, sanitation, eggs.
Try your town or village website, or links below:
These and the examples
that follow provide models and guidance; some details may have changed since
they were posted.
ChiChickEns shares our Recommended Practices as good standards for livestock, neighbors, and city procedures. In Chicago, CCE's position is that existing ordinances cover the bases (nuisance, sanitation, noise, slaughter, animal welfare) and that regulations specific to backyard chickens are unnecessary and even unhelpful. In summer of 2012, a group of CCE members reviewed and revised a draft ordinance to a version we thought our members could approve, if required in the future.
Common elements in other cities' policies include:
From the NYC health code and the Madison WI municipal code (the latter directly addresses rats):