Where in California Can You Have Backyard Chickens?


As egg prices in California keep skyrocketing, many people are escaping the middleman to get eggs directly from the source. In March 2023, egg prices in California reached $7.37. However, eggs are expensive in California in part because there aren't enough hens in the state. According to Hoover Institute, there are only approximately 14.5 million hens in The Golden State. Furthermore, virtually two-thirds of eggs in California state are now produced out of state.

Backyard chickens not only bless you with fresh eggs but also make a great addition to your family. Moreover, backyard eggs contain seventy-five percent more beta carotene, thirty-three percent more vitamin A, and twenty-five percent more vitamin E. But unfortunately, not every California city allows their residents to have Backyard chickens. That is why I have conducted a search and found many places in California where it is legal to have backyard chickens, as well as the number of chickens residents are permitted to keep.

backyard chickens in California

It is worth noting that while your city allows backyard chickens, your landlord may tell you NO.

Los Angeles County

Most cities and towns in Los Angeles County, California allow Backyard chickens under certain regulations. In the city of Los Angeles, for example, most neighborhoods allow the keeping of backyard chickens. However, LA permits one rooster and chicken coops in the city must be at least 35 feet from neighboring structures. The number of hens you can have in LA depends on your neighborhood. Check your city website to make sure you are in compliance with your neighborhood’s animal ordinances.

In the city of Long Beach, CA, residents can have 4 to 20 backyard chickens depending on lot sizes. Owners of four chickens do not need a permit but are required to keep their coops at least 10 feet away from any neighboring dwelling in Long Beach. You must obtain a permit if you have five to ten chickens in LB and must keep your coop at least 35 feet away from neighboring homes. Furthermore, owners of 11 to 20 chickens are required to obtain a permit and must keep their chicken coops at least 50 feet away from neighboring buildings. Roosters are not allowed in the city of Long Beach.

Some other cities that allow backyard chickens in Los Angeles County include:
  • Santa Clarita
  • Burbank
  • Downey
  • Lancaster
  • Palmdale
  • Pomona
  • Torrance
  • West Covina
  • Norwalk
  • El Monte
  • Glendale

In Los Angeles County, chickens are not allowed to be kept in Pasadena, Inglewood, and Beverly Hills. Please note that keeping chickens might be illegal in other cities in Los Angeles County.

San Diego County

The city of San Diego permits its residents to keep chickens in their backyards. However, the number of chickens you can keep depends on how far your chicken coop is from your property lines. For instance, if you live in a single-family home in San Diego, you can have five chickens if your chicken coop is five feet away from your side property line and thirteen feet away from your rear property line, according to San Diego's government website.

In the city of Oceanside, residents can have 6 chickens with the coop being 35 feet away from neighboring homes. Oceanside does not allow roosters. Up to 25 backyard chickens are allowed in certain residential areas in the city of Carlsbad and coops must be 40 feet away from neighboring houses. The city of Encinitas permits its residents to keep up to 10 chickens in their backyards in all residential areas. Chicken coops in Encinitas must be 35 feet away from neighboring residences.

In the city of Vista, up to 25 chickens are permitted in some areas and only two in certain single-family residential areas.

Other cities in San Diego County that allow backyard chickens include:
  • Chula Vista
  • Escondido
  • El Cajon
  • San Marcos
  • La Mesa

Orange County

In the city of Anaheim, Orange County, CA, one hen is permitted per 1800 square feet without a permit. The city of Orange allows 5 chickens excluding roosters. A maximum of four chickens are allowed in  Santa AnaNewport Beach residents are allowed to have two hens. Other cities in Orange County that permit backyard chickens include Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Aliso Viejo, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Lake Forest, Tustin, Laguna Niguel, and Placentia.

Riverside County

The city of Riverside allows 4 to 50 chickens with a Crowing Fowl Permit, depending on lot sizes and areas. The keeping of backyard chickens in the city of Moreno Valley is regulated by zoning and the size of properties. The city of Corona allows 2 to 5 chickens depending on lot size. Chickens are prohibited on lots smaller than 10,000 square feet in the city of Corona. The city of Murrieta permits 4 to 30 backyard chickens, depending on lot sizes. Temecula residents can have up to four chickens excluding roosters.

Other cities that allow backyard chickens in Riverside County include:
  • Menifee
  • Hemet
  • Perris
  • Cathedral City
  • Beaumont

San Bernardino County

the City of San Bernardino allows up to 9 backyard chickens per household under certain rules. Generally, chicken coops in San Bernardino City must be at least fifty to hundred feet away from any human-occupied space. In addition, owners must control their chickens and make sure they don't venture beyond their yards. San Bernardino County generally allows 2 to 9 backyard chickens, depending on lot size.

Santa Clara County

Many cities in Santa Clara County allow backyard chickens. In the city of San Jose, six chickens, excluding roosters are allowed without a permit. Chickens are allowed in the city of Sunnyvale, depending on location. You can have 4 chickens with a permit in Mountain View, Cupertino, and Palo Alto.

Other cities that permit backyard chickens in Santa Clara County include:
  • Gilroy
  • Morgan Hill
  • Campbell
  • Los Gatos
  • Los Altos

Alameda County

You don't need a permit to own backyard chickens in Oakland, Alameda County. The city of Fremont allows two chickens without a permit. Residents must obtain a permit to have backyard chickens on larger lots in Hayward city's agricultural zones. The city of Berkeley allows chickens but owners must keep them from running at large. Berkeley does not permit roosters. The city of San Leandro allows four to ten chickens with an Animal Permit depending on property size.

Other cities in Alameda County where backyard chickens include:
  • Livermore
  • Pleasanton
  • Alameda
  • Union City
  • Castro Valley
  • Dublin
  • Newark

Sacramento County

The city of Sacramento allows three chickens per residential parcel. Roosters are not allowed in Sacramento City. Chicken coops in Sacramento homes must be 20 feet away from any nearest neighboring dwelling. Elk Grove allows chickens in areas zoned for agriculture. The city of Citrus Heights permits six chickens to be kept on single-family residentially zoned properties, regardless of lot size.

If you are planning on having backyard chickens in your county in California, first check your local laws regarding chicken ownership.


Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)

- -
To Top