Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in Missouri


The popularity of raising backyard chickens has been on the rise in recent years, and many cities in the state of Missouri have recognized this trend by allowing residents to keep laying hens on their property. Not only do backyard chickens provide a sustainable source of fresh eggs, but they also offer numerous benefits to their owners and the community, such as natural pest control and fertilizer production. In this article, we will explore some municipalities in Missouri that permit backyard chickens and an overview of the regulations that govern their care.

A backyard hen

Kansas City, MO

Backyard chicken-keeping is allowed in Kansas City, MO, with certain rules and regulations in place. Residents must adhere to these regulations, which include limitations on the number of chickens that can be kept and the distance at which they must be kept from other dwellings. Specifically, Kansas City residents are not permitted to keep more than 15 backyard chickens, and these chickens must be kept at least 100 feet away from the nearest residence or dwelling. If a resident wishes to keep roosters, they must have enough property to keep them at least 300 feet away from any nearby homes.

However, there is some leeway in these regulations. The director of neighborhoods and housing services has the authority to grant exceptions to distance requirements. However, this is only possible if the owners or occupants of neighboring residences or dwellings give their signed consent. Additionally, it's important to keep chicken enclosures clean and well-maintained, so as not to cause any odor-related issues for nearby residents.

St. Louis, MO

The City of St. Louis has specific regulations for residents who wish to keep chickens on their property. According to the city code, a maximum of eight chickens is allowed per parcel. However, if a resident wants to keep more than eight backyard chickens, they must obtain a small farm animal permit from the Health Commissioner. This permit ensures that the chickens are kept in a safe and healthy environment.

Furthermore, St. Louis City Ordinance requires that all chickens be kept in a backyard coop or cage that meets certain standards. The coop or cage must be well-ventilated, designed for easy access and cleaning, and large enough to allow the chickens to move freely. The Health Commissioner determines the minimum size requirement, which is at least two square feet of space per chicken. These regulations aim to promote responsible and safe chicken-keeping practices in the city.

Springfield, MO

The City of Springfield has regulations in place regarding backyard chicken-keeping. Each tract of land is allowed to have a maximum of six female chickens, with no restrictions on breeds. To ensure the safety and cleanliness of the neighborhood, chicken enclosures must be kept in a secure and odor-free condition. Additionally, chicken pens must have an area of at least 12 square feet per chicken and must be located at least 25 feet away from any neighboring residential dwellings, schools, churches, or businesses.

It is prohibited for Springfield chicken owners to engage in chicken breeding and fertilizer production for commercial purposes. On-site slaughtering of chickens is permitted as long as it is conducted in a sanitary manner. Overall, the regulations aim to provide safe and healthy living conditions for chickens while also considering the well-being of other residents in the neighborhood.

Columbia, MO

Columbia, Missouri, has a unique regulation for chicken ownership. Each tract of land is limited to six female chickens, regardless of how many dwelling units are on the tract. However, these chickens must be kept solely for noncommercial use and not for breeding or fertilizer production for commercial purposes.

To ensure the safety and comfort of the chickens, henhouses, chicken tractors, and chicken pens must provide adequate ventilation, sun, and shade, and must be predator-proof. These structures must also be located at least 10 feet from the property line and 25 feet from nearby residential dwellings.

Columbia has established regulations to prevent disturbance to neighbors, which include ensuring that the odors from chickens, chicken manure, or other chicken-related substances are not perceptible at the property boundaries. Moreover, the city's chicken ordinance mandates that the perceptible noise from chickens should not be loud enough to disturb persons of reasonable sensitivity at the property boundaries.

Independence, MO

The city of Independence, Missouri, allows residents to keep backyard chickens, but there are regulations on the number of chickens based on their proximity to neighboring residences. If the coop is at least 50 feet away, residents can keep up to six chickens without roosters. If the coop is 100 feet away, they can keep up to 20 chickens. And if the coop is 200 feet away, they can keep more than 20 chickens.

Regulations for keeping chickens in Independence, Missouri

However, Independence chicken owners must ensure that their chickens are not causing any public nuisance or health hazard and that their structures don't emit any offensive odor that can inconvenience their neighbors.

Lee's Summit, MO

Lee's Summit, MO, has a chicken ordinance that permits up to six female chickens for personal use only. However, chickens must be kept in an enclosure or fenced area at all times. If owners want to let their chickens out, it must be in a securely fenced yard and under supervision during daylight hours. The chicken enclosures must be kept in a clean, dry, odor-free, neat, and sanitary condition with adequate ventilation and sunshade. They must also be at least 10 feet from the property line and 40 feet from any adjacent residential dwelling, with a minimum of 2 square feet of space per chicken.

St. Charles, MO

In St. Charles, Missouri, the number of chickens you can keep on your property is determined by its size. If you have a residential lot of 7,000 square feet or less, a maximum of eight chickens (excluding roosters) are allowed. However, for every additional 2,000 square feet, you can have one more hen, up to a maximum of 12 hens. It's important to note that all hens must be confined in an enclosure that has at least 10 square feet of space per hen and is located at least 10 feet from property lines and 25 feet from neighboring residences.

Additionally, both the fenced confinement area and the coop must be properly maintained to avoid posing a threat to public health, safety, or welfare, or causing a public nuisance. By following these regulations, you can ensure that your chickens are kept in a safe and healthy environment while also being respectful of your neighbors and community.

Other Missouri Municipalities That Allow Backyard Chickens

  • St. Joseph, MO - Chickens must not be kept within 100 feet of other residences
  • Joplin, MO - A Small Animal Permit is required to keep chickens
  • Florissant, MO - A permit is required to keep 4 chickens
  • Chesterfield, MO - A property of at least 2 acres is required to keep chickens
  • Jefferson City, MO -  Chickens must be kept at least 110 feet from other dwellings
  • St. Ann, MO -  A permit is required to keep 3 chickens
  • University City, MO - A maximum of 7 hens. Permit required.
  • Liberty, MO - Up to six female chickens allowed per lot less than 30,000 square feet
  • Ballwin, MO - A property of at least 2 acres is required to keep chickens
  • Raytown, MO - Up to six chickens allowed per household
  • Kirkwood, MO - Chickens must be confined upon their owner's premises
  • Maryland Heights, MO - Up to 4 chickens per single-family residential property
  • Gladstone, MO - Up to 10 chickens allowed
  • Grandview, MO - Only hens are allowed. Running at large prohibited
  • Belton, MO - No more than ten female chickens per acre
  • Hazelwood, MO - A maximum of 3 female chickens per property
  • Webster Groves, MO - A permit is required to keep up to 8 hens
  • Ozark, MO - No more than 6 hens per residential premises
  • Sedalia, MO - Chickens are allowed
  • Arnold, MO - Allows 6 chickens per one-half acre
  • Rolla, MO - Keeping chickens in such numbers as to create a health or unsanitary condition is prohibited
  • Warrensburg, MO - Chickens must not become a public nuisance


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