Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in Colorado

Many municipalities in the state of Colorado permit the keeping of backyard chickens for noncommercial purposes only. However, before acquiring any chicken in your city, you may want to check your local chicken-keeping rules regarding the maximum number and types of chickens allowed per household, whether or not a permit is required, and coop requirements.

In Arapahoe County, for example, residents don't need a special license to have backyard chickens. However, Arapahoe County residents must meet other requirements and may need a building permit for certain improvements. Another chicken-friendly County in Colorado is Jefferson County, with a variety of urban and rural areas that allow the keeping of backyard chickens.

A hen

The maximum number of backyard chickens you can have in Colorado depends on the municipality in which you live. In this article, I have listed some Colorado cities that permit the keeping of backyard chickens and the maximum number of chickens permitted per residence therein.

Denver, CO

If you live in the City of Denver, you need to obtain a restricted livestock or fowl license from the executive director before keeping up to 8 chickens. Denver prohibits the keeping of roosters. In addition to chickens, the City of Denver also permits residents to keep ducks, geese, and turkeys. However, the number of birds allowed per household in Denver is 8. Denver Code requires that chickens be kept in a clean and sanitary condition and chicken owners keep their birds in such a manner that they do not create a nuisance.

Colorado Springs, CO

In the City of Colorado Springs, up to ten backyard chickens (no roosters) are permitted per household in residential zone districts. However, in zoning districts where a hobby farm is permitted, an unlimited number of hens and roosters is allowed per property. Colorado Springs Code requires that chicken coops contain at least four square feet of space for each chicken. Colorado Springs chicken keepers must comply with El Paso County's Ordinance 17-201 Animal Control, which prohibits noisy pets and the improper care or treatment of pets.

Aurora, CO

The City of Aurora allows residents to keep chickens in their backyards, provided certain requirements are met. To begin with, roosters are not permitted within the city limits of Aurora, only hens or ducks are allowed. The maximum number of hens or ducks you can have in Aurora, CO, depends on the size of your property. No more than four hens and two ducks are permitted on lots less than 20,000 square feet in size. On lots of 20,000 or more square feet in size, a maximum of eight hens are permitted.

Aurora Code requires that hens and ducks be provided with a covered, appropriate predator-resistant bird coop that is situated in the rear yard and at least 15 feet away from all property lines.

Fort Collins, CO

Fort Collins, CO residents need to obtain a permit from the Human Society before keeping backyard chickens or ducks. The keeping of male chickens (roosters) and male ducks (drakes) is not allowed within the city limits of Fort Collins. The maximum number of chickens allowed per household in Fort Collins is based on property size. Up to eight chickens and/or ducks are allowed on lots less than one-half acre in size. On lots one-half acre to one acre in size, a maximum of twelve chickens and/or ducks are permitted, with up to six additional chickens and/or ducks per every additional one-half acre.

Fort Collins Code requires that chickens and ducks be provided with a covered, predator-resistant coop that is properly ventilated and consists of at least four square feet of space per chicken hen or duck. In addition, the city code requires that chicken coops be kept in a clean condition and at least fifteen feet away from any abutting property line.

Lakewood, CO

In Lakewood, CO, a permit is not required to keep backyard chickens in the R-1-43, R-1-18, R-1-12, and R-1-9 residential zone districts. In these districts, a maximum of 1 chicken per 4 square feet in coop area is required. In addition, chicken coops must be located in the rear yard and at least 15 feet away from all property lines.

However, if you reside in R-1-6 and R-2 residential zone districts, a permit is required to keep a maximum of 6 hens on your property. In the R-1-6 and R-2 zoning districts, a minimum of 6 square feet of living space per chicken is required and chicken coops must be located in the side or rear yard, and meet the minimum setbacks of 5 feet.

Thornton, CO

No permit is required to keep backyard chickens in the city of Thornton, CO. However, Thornton chicken owners must comply with the city's chicken ordinance, which contains specific shelter, care, and maintenance requirements for chickens. Thornton permits up to six chickens (no roosters) per property developed with a single-family detached dwelling. Thornton allows only one chicken coop per backyard and prohibits the on-site butchering or slaughtering of chickens.

Furthermore, Thornton Code requires that chicken coops consist of at least six square feet of space per chicken, not exceeding 120 square feet or seven feet in height.

Arvada, CO

Sec. 14-126 of the Arvada Code of Ordinances states that no resident may keep more than 15 chickens on their property. The city code requires that chicken coops be kept more than 35 feet away from any dwelling unit. In zoning districts other than the RA and RN-32.5, chicken coops must be located in the rear yard only.

Chicken Ordinances in Other Colorado Municipalities

Municipality Number of Chickens Allowed Permit Required
Westminster, CO Up to 6 chickens Yes
Pueblo West, CO Up to 12 chickens No
Centennial, CO Six chickens No
Boulder, CO Up to eight hens NO
Longmont, CO No more than 4 chicken hens Yes
Broomfield, CO Up to five chickens Yes
Castle Rock, CO A maximum of 8 chickens or ducks No
Parker, CO Up to 50 chickens No
Brighton, CO up to six chickens, ducks, or pigeons No
Northglenn, CO No more than six chickens Yes
Englewood, CO No maximum number. Premises must be kept clean. No

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