Tennessee Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens

Can you have backyard chickens in the State of Tennessee? Yes, you can. Several Tennessee cities allow residents to keep chickens in their backyards as pets for noncommercial purposes. How many chickens can you own in Tennessee? The number of chickens you can own in Tennessee depends on the municipality in which you live, as the code regulating the keeping of backyard chickens varies from one municipality to another. However, the number of chickens allowed per property in most Tennessee cities is between 2 and 6. That said, below are some cities in The Volunteer State where the keeping of backyard chickens is legal.

6 backyard chickens

1. Nashville, TN

Over the last few years, the keeping of backyard chickens has become increasingly popular in Davidson County, TN. The County's seat, the City of Nashville, allows residents to keep backyard chickens in residential areas after obtaining a permit. However, only hens are allowed in Nashville, and the keeping of roosters is prohibited. In addition, the breeding, slaughtering, selling of eggs, and selling of hens are forbidden within the city limits of Nashville.

Nashville's code requires that backyard hens be kept in a predator-proof enclosure and the enclosure be located at least 10 feet away from any property line and 25 feet away from neighboring residential structures. The chicken enclosure may be located in the side or rear yards. Furthermore, the number of backyard hens Nashville residents can keep depends on lot size.

  • 5,009 square feet: 2 Hens
  • 5,010 square feet or more: 4 Hens
  • 10,237 square feet or more: 6 Hens

2. Memphis, TN

The City of Memphis allows residents to raise backyard chickens, so long as the birds are not allowed to constitute a public nuisance, including offensive odors. In addition, owners must not permit their chickens to roam freely in any street, alley or unenclosed lot within the city, according to Memphis' municipal code.

3. Knoxville, TN

Chickens are allowed in the City of Knoxville, Knox County, so long as they are kept as pets for noncommercial purposes and in a clean condition. However, prior to keeping any chickens, Knoxville residents must obtain an annual permit for a fee of $25, as required by Knox County laws. Knox County allows up to six chickens regardless of property size. Roosters are not allowed in Knox County and the breeding, slaughtering of chickens, and selling of eggs are prohibited.

Furthermore, The City of Knoxville Code of Ordinances requires that hens be kept in a fenced enclosure at all times and the enclosure be located at least 10 feet away feet from any abutting property line.

4. Clarksville, TN

In Clarksville, Montgomery County, TN, backyard chickens are allowed in the residentially zoned districts of E-1, R-1, R-1A, R-2, and R-2A. Roosters and on-site slaughtering of hens are prohibited within the City of Clarksville.

Residents are permitted to keep no more than six chickens on any parcel or tract of property in Clarksville. However, Clarksville residents must obtain a chicken permit for a fee of $50 prior to keeping any chickens. Furthermore, the City's Code of Ordinances requires that chicken coops/pens be kept in the rear of the property and at least 10 feet away from any side property line.

5. Murfreesboro, TN

It is legal for residents to keep chickens in their backyards in the City of Murfreesboro, Rutherford County, Tennessee, so long as certain conditions are followed. No Murfreesboro chicken owner may knowingly permit their chickens to run at large in the City or to trespass upon another's property. To prevent this, chickens are to be kept enclosed or confined at all times in the City. Roosters are not allowed within the City limits of Murfreesboro.

6. Franklin, TN

The City of Franklin, the county seat of Williamson County, Tennessee, allows residents to have backyard chickens, provided that owners keep their birds from running at large in any street, alley, or unenclosed lot within the city limits. In addition, no Franklin resident may keep chickens in such a manner as to become a nuisance. The City's Code requires that residents obtain a permit from the Health Officer before keeping any chickens.

Other Tennessee Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens


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