Other Cities

"It seems that if we want to be a town that does its part for sustainability, this is something we ought to consider. I think we want to allow folks to use  their good judgment and move toward more sustainable food practices." - Mayor John Engen, Missoula, MT

Ferndale MI allows its residents to own up to 3 hens in their backyards.

The city of Kingston, ON, recently allowed urban hens.  In January 2011, the committee charged with this task produced a policy recommendation that includes the reasoning behind the recommendation.  Well worth reading!

See a list of cities that allow backyard chickens at www.TorontoChickens.com.

Madison, Wisconsin, is an important city to consider because they have allowed backyard hens long enough for us to be able to learn from their experience.  In their residents' own words:
In the Spring of 2004, Madison, WI passed a law allowing single-family homes the right to raise poultry in the back yard. Previous to this law, poultry was allowed inside the home, but not outside. Coops were not permitted, nor was raising poultry inside the garage. Today it is legal to have 4 hens (no roosters) in a coop, no closer than 25' from the nearest neighbors living quarters. Butchering within the city limits is still not allowed.
Before their law was changed, an excellent presentation was created for use at a public meeting to help residents understand some of the issues regarding urban chickens.  It's well worth opening up the link and reading it.

Here is a great video about urban hens in Portland, Oregon:

And closer to home, the city of Madison Heights voted in December 2010 to allow backyard coops:
The measure allows three hens or chicks per household and bans roosters, but the new law will expire in two years, [City Manager] Austin said.

“It’s a bit of a trial period,” he said. “At the end of the two years the council will weigh the impact of the domestic hen provision and decide whether to continue it.”


  1. Are residents of Tecumseh allowed urban chickens? Or where would I find such information?

  2. Hello Tippa, We've heard conflicting information about Tecumseh. Apparently chickens are not allowed there, but you might want to check with the town's bylaw department and ask them to show you the specific wording.

    We're very interested to hear what they have to say, so please do let us know what you learn.

    1. The law says no ratite birds allowed… but chickens can fly so are they under the ratite category? She said there might be more information under the zoning laws and I can contact a clerk for a definitive answer, but if the law doesn't list it explicitly then it's up to the clerk to decide. hmmmmm. Tecumseh operates on a complaint driven basis so I may go talk to my neighbours...

    2. Here is the link to the online bylaws: http://www.tecumseh.ca/townhall/departmental-services/clerks/frbylaws

      If Tecumseh operates on a complaint driven basis, I hope you have nice neighbours, and I imagine they will like you even more if you share your eggs with them from time to time. Good luck!

  3. Does Windsor allow hens now?


Please keep the Windsor urban chicken discussion going! We love to 'read your constructive comments.