See section 7-12-100 of the city code. In addition:
- There's no limit on numbers of chickens, 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.
We want to preserve the option of keeping chickens (and other livestock) in Chicagoland backyards
To that end we network with each other, provide backyard chicken keepers with advice and guidance, offer workshops and coop tours to promote best practices, and correct misinformation.
- See our RECOMMENDED PRACTICES for backyard chickens in Chicago. We promote these standards in classes, Tours, and presentations.
- See the attachment below for our Responses to Common Concerns about Backyard Chickens (pdf).
- See (and comment on) the draft Chicken Ordinance we reviewed and revised in case needed in future. However, we recommend not to regulate chickens specifically but to apply general policies on sanitation, nuisances, and animal care to address issues that may arise.
- See Shattering 7 Urban Myths About Raising Chickens OR download the handy 2-page attachment, also below (pdf).
- See Kevin Harvey's presentation for debates about Backyard Chickens in Glencoe.
- See our publication, the 2013 Windy City Backyard Chicken Resource Guide. If you would like to serve as Backyard Chickens ambassador in your ward (of Chicago) or your town, contact Martha Boyd for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In 2010, students of Hugh Bartling, professor at DePaul U, surveyed staff in more than 20 municipalities around the country after they passed ordinances allowing chickens to see what impact it had on staff and communities. The report is HERE, and it was incorporated into this set of notes/discussion for the Batavia City services committee. These provide a great overview of real issues that typically arise, and productive discussion about them.
- Another useful example is from Louisville, CO's process to explore and draft an ordinance in fall 2013.
- Read this article in the Journal of Planning History about how urban planning emerged to manage livestock in US cities in the late 19th and early 20th century: "From Farm to Nuisance: Animal Agriculture and the Rise of Planning Regulation," Catherine Brinkley and Dominic Vitiello, 2013.
See our growing collection of info about IL Chicken Policies and
people organizing for pro-chicken policies where they live.
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.
In January 2008, we drafted language for an ordinance in Chicago to reserve in case of future need. (See the attachment below.)
A Chicken Ordinance in Chicago could include elements common to other cities’ regulations.
From the NYC health code and the Madison WI municipal code (the latter directly addresses rats):