Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in New Mexico


In the state of New Mexico, several cities permit the keeping of chickens in backyard settings for personal use. However, the specific regulations regarding the number and type of chickens allowed vary depending on local laws. Therefore, if you are a resident of New Mexico with a passion for these feathered creatures, it is crucial to consult your local authorities before embarking on acquiring any chickens. To assist you, I have compiled a list of a few municipalities in New Mexico that embrace the practice of keeping backyard chickens.

A hen in a backyard

Albuquerque, NM

In Albuquerque, NM, residents are allowed to keep backyard chickens, as long as they adhere to certain regulations set by the city. The city allows up to fifteen chickens of which one can be a rooster per property. To keep backyard chickens in Albuquerque, owners must obtain an annual permit from Animal Welfare Department and comply with zoning requirements. They should ensure proper space for the chickens by providing at least four square feet per bird within a secure and predator-proof coop or enclosure.

Chicken coops are required to be located at least 10 feet away from any property line. Moreover, Albuquerque residents need to maintain appropriate sanitation measures and manage waste effectively to prevent unpleasant odors or health hazards.

Las Cruces, NM

In the city of Las Cruces, residents are legally obligated to obtain a special permit prior to keeping chickens or ducks in residential areas. It is essential to adhere to the city's animal ordinance when housing and caring for these animals. Moreover, it is important to note that the total number of chickens and/or ducks per property, not zoned for livestock keeping, should not exceed six. Additionally, it is strictly prohibited to keep roosters on properties that are not designated for livestock keeping within the city limits of Las Cruces.

Rio Rancho, NM

In the city of Rio Rancho, residents are allowed to maintain a maximum of seven chickens on properties that are at least one-half acre in size. This regulation applies to both the E-1: Estate Residential zone district and the R-1: Single-Family zone district. However, the city strictly prohibits the keeping of mature roosters that may disrupt the peace by crowing or causing disturbances.

To ensure compliance with the regulations, chicken enclosures must be situated within the rear yards of the property and be positioned at least 15 feet away from any neighboring property lines. This requirement aims to maintain a harmonious environment for all residents.

Santa Fe, NM

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, residents have the privilege of keeping chickens in their backyards. Unlike many other places, there is no specific limit on the number of chickens one can own. However, it is important to note that the city code mandates certain provisions to ensure the well-being of these chickens. Specifically, residents must make arrangements for the proper feeding of the chickens and ensure a supply of water is available to them at intervals no longer than twelve hours.

Roswell, NM

In the city of Roswell, New Mexico, the number of chickens that residents are permitted to keep in their backyards is determined by the size of their properties. As per the regulations, a maximum of four hens can be kept on any lot within the city. However, for lots that exceed half an acre in size, residents are allowed to keep up to ten hens. Furthermore, on lots measuring one acre or more, a maximum of twenty-five hens are permitted.

Farmington, NM

Farmington residents are permitted to keep chickens as long as they are able to provide proper care and ensure that the birds do not cause any disturbances. It is important to note that the City Code strictly prohibits the accumulation of chicken manure, as it can generate unpleasant odors that may pose a risk to public health and safety.

Hobbs, NM

In Hobbs, New Mexico, residents are obligated to obtain a permit prior to keeping chickens in their residential backyards. The minimum lot size requirement for chicken-keeping is 0.50 acres. It is essential to ensure that chickens are kept at a distance of over one hundred feet from any private residence, with the exception of the owner who is responsible for the livestock. Moreover, the owner's residence must not be situated within fifty feet of a chicken pen or enclosure.

Other New Mexico Municipalities

  • Clovis, NM - Up to 25 chickens are permitted
  • Gallup, NM - Permits 4 backyard hens per lot
  • Deming, NM -  A maximum of 10 hens per property
  • Los Alamos, NM - No more than 10 hens per lot
  • Las Vegas, NM - One chicken per 200 square feet of land
  • Portales, NM - A livestock permit is required to keep chickens
  • Silver City, NM - Up to six female chickens per household
  • Socorro, NM - Chickens must be kept in a coop and sanitary condition


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