Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in Alabama

Can you have chickens in your backyard in Alabama? Yes, you can. Many cities in the Heart of Dixie permit residents to keep chickens in their backyards, provided certain requirements are met. How many backyard chickens can you have in Alabama? The maximum number of backyard chickens you can keep in Alabama depends on your local animal ordinance, as the laws regulating the keeping of backyard chickens vary greatly by municipality.

In this article, I have listed some Alabama cities that allow the keeping of backyard chickens and the maximum number of chickens allowed therein.

Backyard Chickens in Alabama

1. Huntsville, AL

In the City of Huntsville, there is no limit on the number of backyard chickens residents can have. However, the City's Code of Ordinances states that chicken coops or pens must be kept not less than 150 feet away from a dwelling occupied by a person, which, needless to say, is impossible on your typical city lot. This regulation, however, does not apply to chicken coops or pens that have been continuously kept before May 10, 1979.

The City Code requires that chicken coops have a minimum area of 15 square feet of space for each chicken. In addition to chickens, the City of Huntsville allows the keeping of other domestic birds, including geese, ducks, peafowls, turkeys, pheasants, pigeons, and Guinea fowls.

Huntsville chicken owners are required to keep their birds in a sanitary condition and in such a manner that they do not create a nuisance.

2. Birmingham, AL

The keeping of backyard chickens is allowed in the City of Birmingham, Alabama. Birmingham's chicken ordinance is similar to that of Huntsville in terms of the required distance between a chicken coop and neighboring residences. Birmingham requires that chicken coops be located not less than 100 feet from the nearest residential structure and at least 15 feet from a property line. A maximum of 25 backyard chickens, including 2 roosters, are allowed per residence in Birmingham, AL.

3. Montgomery, AL

The City of Montgomery allows the keeping of chickens in AGR-1 and AGR-2 zoning districts, which are agricultural areas. Backyard chickens are also permitted in some residential districts by a “special exception” (Board of Adjustment), including R-125, R-100, R-85, R-75, R-65, R-60 and R-50.

Only hens are allowed in Montgomery, AL, roosters are prohibited. Emus and pigeons are also allowed in Montgomery, AL.

4. Mobile, AL

Residents in the city of Mobile, AL are required to obtain a permit to keep chickens within the city limits. Chicken permits will be issued for hens only, not roosters. Moreover, roosters are permitted only in residential-agricultural (R-A) districts.

In residentially zoned areas, chicken coops must be located 150 feet away from neighboring residences. Furthermore, chicken owners in Mobile, AL are required to keep their birds in a clean and sanitary condition. Up to 25 chickens are allowed per property. Quails, turkeys, ducks, geese, Guinea fowls, and pheasants are also allowed in the City of Mobile, AL.

5. Tuscaloosa, AL

The City of Tuscaloosa permits the keeping of backyard chickens under certain conditions. The City does not place a limit on the number of chickens residents can keep. However, there is a requirement for chickens to be securely housed in an enclosure and be prevented from escaping therefrom. Furthermore, chickens are to be kept as pets for personal use only in the City of Tuscaloosa, AL, per the city's fowl ordinance.

6. Auburn, AL

The City of Auburn allows the keeping of backyard chickens as an accessory use in single-family residences. Auburn City allows a maximum of 10 chickens per lot. However, this maximum number does not apply to people living in areas zoned residential within the city. In other words, you may keep up to four backyard chickens, provided you reside on a property zoned RC, residential conservancy or R-1.

The keeping of roosters and peafowls is not allowed within the city limits of Auburn, AL. Furthermore, chicken coops, pens or runs must be located in the rear yard and at least 10 feet away from lot lines.

Other Alabama Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens

  • Dothan, AL: Permits up to 6 backyard hens
  • Madison, AL: Allows backyard chickens
  • Florence, AL: Allows chickens, turkeys, pigeons, ostriches, and peacocks
  • Prattville, AL: Allows backyard chickens
  • Gadsden, AL: Allows backyard chickens
  • Alabaster, AL: Allows backyard chickens under certain conditions
  • Opelika, AL: Allows up to 10 backyard chickens based on a lot size
  • Northport, AL: Chickens must be kept not less than 300 feet from any residence
  • Enterprise, AL: Chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys must be kept 100 feet from other residences
  • Homewood, AL: Chickens must be kept more than 300 feet from any neighboring residence
  • Bessemer, AL: A permit is required to keep chickens


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