Urban Chicken Keeping

If you’ve been into urban homesteading for very long at all, you’re probably asking yourself, “Could I raise urban chickens?”

Daily fresh eggs sounds appealing, and they can make great pets. We’ve not been able to keep a dog or cat due to allergies, so having chickens has been a great alternative!

However, before you dive headfirst into this adventure, there are a few things you should know.

Fresh eggs in city limits

Before you do any other research, you need to check your city’s laws and regulations regarding urban chickens. Some cities have strict rules on the number of chickens you can keep, the size of your coop, and where it can be located. 

But with a little bit of effort, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful urban chicken keeper.

The Benefits of Raising Urban Chickens

Not only are chickens surprisingly easy to care for, but they also offer several benefits that make them a worthwhile investment.

You get delicious eggs, a closer connection with your food and where it comes from. And you get to join a growing community of urban chicken enthusiasts!

Egg Production

One of the most obvious benefits of raising chickens is the fresh eggs. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also more nutritious than store-bought eggs. Plus, you’ll know exactly where your eggs come from and how they were raised.

Favorite Chicken
“Snowbie” is my friendliest–and favorite–chicken

Depending on the breed of chicken, you can expect to get anywhere from 3-7 eggs per week from each hen. That’s plenty for you and your family, and you might even have some to share with your neighbors.

Natural Pest Control

Another benefit of raising chickens is that they’re great at pest control. Chickens love to eat bugs, so they can help keep your garden and yard free of pests like ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes.

Just be aware that chickens will also eat your plants, so either watch them closely, or make sure to keep them out of your garden beds!

Chickens are also great at eating kitchen scraps, which can help cut down on food waste. Just be sure to avoid feeding them anything that’s toxic to chickens, like avocado or chocolate.

Backyard Chickens in the City: Legal Considerations

It’s important to understand the legal considerations that come with urban chicken keeping. Zoning regulations and noise ordinances are two key areas to consider.

Zoning Regulations

Before you start, make sure to check your city’s zoning regulations. Some cities have specific laws that prohibit backyard chickens within city limits, while others have specific requirements for the size and placement of chicken coops.

In some cases, you may need to obtain a permit or license. This may involve submitting plans for your chicken coop for approval, paying a fee, and completing a class. Make sure to research the specific requirements in your area before you start building.

Chickens in Lap

Noise Ordinances

Chickens can be noisy, especially if you have a rooster. Make sure to check your city’s noise ordinances to ensure that your chickens are not violating any laws.

In some cities, there are specific rules about the time of day that chickens can make noise. For example, in some areas, roosters are not allowed because they crow early in the morning and can disturb your neighbors.

If you do decide to keep chickens, make sure to be a good neighbor by making sure your chickens’ enclosure is clean and well-maintained, and by addressing any noise complaints promptly.

How to Raise Happy and Healthy Flock of Urban Chickens

It’s important to provide your chickens with a healthy and safe environment to ensure they are happy and productive. Here are some tips on how to raise happy and healthy urban chickens.

Chicken Coop Requirements; Visit our blog post to read more about keeping your own flock of urban chickens

Coop Design

Your chickens need a safe and secure coop to sleep in at night. The coop needs good ventilation and enough space for your chickens to move around freely.

You can buy a coop, or go DIY and build your own! Here are some things to consider:

  • Size: Your coop should have at least 2-3 square feet of space per bird. If you have more chickens, you’ll need more space.
  • Roosting Bars: Chickens like to roost at night, so make sure you have roosting bars. The bars should be at least 2 inches wide and placed 18-24 inches off the ground.
  • Nesting Boxes: Chickens need a place to lay their eggs. Provide one nesting box per 3-4 chickens. The boxes should be filled with clean straw or shavings.
  • Predator Protection: Even an urban chicken coop needs to be secure from predators like raccoons, foxes, and cats. Use hardware cloth to cover any openings and make sure the door can be securely closed at night.

Feeding and Watering

Your chickens need a balanced diet to stay healthy and productive. Here are some tips on feeding and watering your urban chickens:

  • Feed: Chickens need a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins. You can buy commercial chicken feed from a feed store or make your own. Make sure your chickens have access to fresh feed at all times.
  • Water: Chickens need access to clean water at all times. Use a waterer designed for chickens and make sure it’s cleaned and refilled regularly.
  • Treats: Chickens love treats like fruits, vegetables, and mealworms. Just make sure treats don’t make up more than 10% of their diet.

Health and Hygiene

Keeping your chickens healthy is important for their well-being and productivity. Here are some tips on health and hygiene:

  • Clean Coop: Clean your coop regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria and parasites. Remove any soiled bedding and replace it with fresh straw or shavings.
  • Dust Bath: Chickens need to take dust baths to keep their feathers clean and healthy. Provide a shallow container filled with sand or dirt for them to bathe in.
  • Medical Care: Keep an eye on your chickens for signs of illness or injury. If you notice anything unusual, consult with a veterinarian who specializes in poultry care.

By following these tips, you can raise happy and healthy urban chickens that will provide you with fresh eggs and endless entertainment.

Common Challenges of Urban Chicken Keeping

Raising chickens in an urban area is not without its challenges. Here are some common challenges you may face when keeping chickens in the city:


Urban areas may have more predators than rural areas, and your chickens can become easy targets. Common predators include raccoons, foxes, and even domestic dogs and cats. To protect your flock, make sure your coop is secure and predator-proof.

Use sturdy fencing and locks, and cover any openings with wire mesh. You can also consider using motion-activated lights or alarms to deter predators.

Neighborly Relations

Keeping chickens in an urban area can also be a challenge when it comes to your neighbors. Some people may be concerned about noise, odor, or the potential for disease.

To maintain good relations with your neighbors, make sure your chickens’ enclosure is clean and well-maintained. Keep noise levels down by placing the coop away from your neighbor’s property and avoid letting your chickens out too early in the morning. 

You can also share some of your eggs with your neighbors as a goodwill gesture.


Remember, keeping chickens in an urban area requires responsibility and consideration for both your chickens and your neighbors. With some careful planning and preparation, you can overcome these challenges and enjoy the many benefits of urban chicken keeping.

Looking for the best ways to care for your urban chickens and grow your own food in the city? Follow our blog for all the latest tips and tricks on urban homesteading and join us on our journey to live a more sustainable lifestyle in the city.

Together, we can learn and grow as we explore the many benefits of urban homesteading and work towards a more self-sufficient future.

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