Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in West Virginia


West Virginia is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and self-sustaining individuals, as it boasts several cities that allow residents to raise backyard chickens. However, prospective chicken owners in the Mountain State must be well-informed about local laws in their respective areas. These laws may vary significantly from one city to another, highlighting the importance of conducting thorough research before embarking on this endeavor.

4 backyard chickens

In this article, you will discover a few West Virginia municipalities that allow residents to keep chickens in their backyards in residential areas.

Charleston, WV

You can keep chickens in your backyard if you live in the city of Charleston, WV. The city code does not regulate the number or type of chickens residents can own. However, it does prohibit keeping chickens within 25 feet of a structure owned by another and used for human habitation. In addition, the city code prohibits keeping chickens in a such manner that it can annoy or disturb neighbors or the public.

South Charleston, WV

If you are considering keeping chickens in the city of South Charleston, WV, you must first apply for and obtain a permit from the Property Board. A permit may be issued if the Property Board, in its opinion, determines that the presence of chickens will not create any nuisance, health issues, or unsanitary conditions. Chickens are to be kept for personal use only, per the city's Code of Ordinances.

Huntington, WV

Huntington residents wishing to keep backyard chickens, ducks, geese, or turkeys are required by law to obtain a permit from the health officer to do so. Under the permit, chickens are required to be confined upon the owner's premises and not be permitted to be at large.

Morgantown, WV

If you reside in the city of Morgantown, WV, you may keep no more than two chickens if your coop is located within 80 feet of your neighbor's residence. However, if you obtain written permission from your neighbors, the setback requirement may be reduced and the number of chickens may be increased. Chicken coops or any other structures must not be permitted to become offensive, noxious, or detrimental to health.

Wheeling, WV

If you live in Wheeling, WV, and desire to keep chickens in your backyard, you need to obtain a permit from the City Manager to do so. Before a permit is issued, the City Manager may inspect the premises as well as the conditions under which the chickens are to be kept. After the inspection, the City Manager may prescribe the number and type of chickens you can keep.

Beckley, WV

Beckley residents are permitted to keep as many chickens as they can properly care for in their backyards. The keeping of geese, ducks, and turkeys is also permitted within the city limits of Beckley, WV. However, the city code prohibits keeping chickens, geese, ducks, or turkeys in a manner that can create a nuisance. This includes not allowing your chickens to run at large within the city, except on your premises.

Clarksburg, WV

In the city of Clarksburg, WV, residents are permitted to raise no more than 20 chickens in their backyards. However, the city code prohibits keeping chickens within 30 feet of neighboring residences. Additionally, chickens must be kept in a dry, well-ventilated enclosure, which must be cleaned at least once a week or more often if necessary.

Bluefield, WV

Bluefield residents wishing to raise backyard chickens are required by law to obtain an animal permit from the city clerk to do so. The permit will be granted upon agreement that the coop wherein chickens are to be kept will be built in such a manner that it can be kept and maintained in a dry, neat, and sanitary condition, free from offensive odors. Chicken enclosures are required to be located within 50 feet of neighboring residences, unless written permission is obtained from said neighbors.

Oak Hill, WV

The city of Oak Hill, WV, requires that residents desiring to keep chickens in their backyards obtain a $50 permit from the Zoning Officer. Under the permit, the keeping of chickens is explicitly for non-commercial use and only hens (female chickens) are permitted. Ducks are also allowed to be kept within the city.

The number of hens, ducks, or any combination of both allowed per residence is 6. Chicken coops or any other enclosures must be located 25 feet from neighboring structures and provide a minimum of 10 square feet of space per chicken or duck.

Other West Virginia Municipalities That Allow Backyard Chickens

  • Barboursville, WV: Permits 6 backyard hens per dwelling unit
  • Moundsville, WV: A permit is required to keep six chickens
  • Dunbar, WV: A permit is required to keep chickens, ducks, geese, or turkeys
  • Charles Town, WV: Permits no more than 20 chickens per residence
  • Hurricane, WV: No restriction on chicken-keeping
  • Elkins, WV: Allows 6 hens per residence
  • Nitro, WV: Chickens must be kept 25 feet from other structures
  • Ranson, WV: Permits no more than 25 chickens per property
  • New Martinsville, WV: Chickens must not be at large
  • Summersville, WV: A permit is required to keep chickens
  • Ripley, WV: Chicken-keeping must be approved by the Health Officer
  • Fayetteville, WV: Chickens must not be at large


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