Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in South Dakota

In South Dakota, the regulations regarding backyard chickens vary by city and county, so it is essential to thoroughly research and consult local laws before considering raising these feathery creatures. While some cities like Sioux Falls have approved ordinances allowing residents to keep backyard chickens under certain conditions, others may still prohibit them entirely or impose strict limitations on their ownership.

For instance, Sioux Falls permits up to six hens per household but prohibits roosters due to noise concerns. Additionally, coop dimensions, setback requirements, and property size limitations may be imposed for maintaining a chicken coop in residential areas.

A white hen

As a prospective poultry enthusiast, you must understand these regulations fully and acquire any necessary permits beforehand to ensure compliance with local laws while enjoying the benefits of urban farming within approved jurisdictions in South Dakota. That said, below are some South Dakota municipalities that allow residents to keep chickens in their backyards for personal use.

Sioux Falls, SD

If you live in the City of Sioux Falls, you don't need a permit to keep a maximum of 6 female chickens in your backyard. However, a permit is required if you wish to exceed this limit. Roosters (male chickens) are banned from being kept within the City. The keeping of duck, turkey or goose in the City of Sioux Falls also requires a permit. The City Code prohibits keeping chickens in a manner that constitutes a nuisance.

Rapid City, SD

The City of Rapid City recognizes the benefits of locally produced food by allowing residents to keep chickens on premises licensed by the City for the keeping of domestic chickens. In other words, you need to obtain a $5 license from the Finance Officer before keeping any chickens in Rapid City. The license expires on January 31 of every year and may only be renewed in the month of December.

With the license, you can keep a maximum of six chickens, excluding roosters, in your Rapid City backyard. Per Rapid City Code, it is unlawful and a public nuisance to allow your chickens to run at large.

Aberdeen, SD

In the City of Aberdeen, SD, residents are required to obtain a chicken-keeping permit before keeping any chickens. The City Code requires that chickens be kept and maintained for egg and meat purposes in a clean and sanitary manner that is not a nuisance to or detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare of the community. Failure to comply with the city's chicken-keeping requirements, limitations, or prohibitions could result in the revocation of a permit.

According to Aberdeen's chicken ordinance, residents may keep up to 8 female chickens on a lot of 22,500 square feet or less and up to 12 female chickens on a lot greater than 22,500 square feet. The keeping of roosters as well as the breeding of chickens are prohibited within the City of Aberdeen.

Furthermore, chicken coops are required to be located in the rear yard and 20 feet from neighboring residences.

Brookings, SD

If you reside in the City of Brookings, you can keep up to six female chickens in your backyard, provided that you obtain a permit. The City Code requires that hen houses be maintained in a sanitary condition and be located at least 25 feet from any dwelling, store or other building used or occupied as a residence.

Yankton, SD

Yankton residents are permitted to keep a maximum of 6 female chickens in their backyards for noncommercial purposes. The City Code requires that hens be kept in a manner not visible to the traveling public or the surrounding property owners. In addition to chickens, Yankton residents may also own up to 6 homing pigeons.

Pierre, SD

The City of Pierre modified its municipal code to permit residents to keep a small backyard flock of no more than 6 female chickens within the city limits. The city requires that hens be provided with a coop that is of sufficient size and predator-proof. Furthermore, Pierre chicken keepers are required to obtain a $15 license from the City within 30 days of acquiring the hens.

Vermillion, SD

In the City of Vermillion, SD, a maximum of 3 female chickens are allowed to be kept on any one detached owner-occupied single-family dwelling lot. However, if you desire to keep more than 3 hens in Vermillion, you may do so by applying for and obtaining a Multiple Chicken Permit (MCP) from the City's Animal Control Officer.

You can own up to 5 chickens with the MCP. Vermillion chicken owners may slaughter chickens for personal consumption on their property in areas not visible from the public right-of-way.

Other South Dakota Municipalities That Allow Backyard Chickens

  • Watertown, SD: A special permit is required to keep chickens
  • Spearfish, SD: Chicken coops must not be situated within 100 feet of any dwelling
  • Brandon, SD: Permits 6 female chickens per residential lot
  • Harrisburg, SD: Allows no more than 6 hens per property
  • Sturgis, SD: Chicken keepers must register with the city
  • Tea, SD: Chickens must be kept in a sanitary manner
  • Madison, SD: A permit is required to keep 6 hens
  • Hot Springs, SD: A $20 permit is required to keep 6 hens
  • Canton, SD: Allows no more than 8 hens per property


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