In Chicago, keeping chickens as pets and for eggs (humanely, cleanly, appropriately) is not prohibited in residential districts. There's no limit on numbers, nor a ban on roosters. Keeping ANY animal for the purpose of slaughtering for food is NOT permitted. Permitted slaughtering facilities in Chicago are monitored by the state under biosecurity protocols.
Excessive animal noise (including crowing) is prohibited.
is no specific prohibition on other livestock in residential areas, but
slaughtering, nuisance, sanitation, and humane treatment and housing ordinances
Look it up in section 7-12-100 of the city code.Related city ordinances address: cleanliness, nuisance (smells, noise, vermin), proper housing, humane treatment, slaughter, composting, and sales.
Related state law addresses sale of eggs and poultry meat processing (also see our page End of Life.)
We want to preserve the option of keeping chickens 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 another attachment below for language drafted for a pro-chickens ordinance if needed in the future (pdf).
- 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 new 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.
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):