Chickens Zoning Permit

Section 611: The Keeping of Hens

The intent and purpose of this section is to allow the keeping of a limited number of hens, primarily for the purpose of providing fresh eggs to the occupants of the dwelling. 

The keeping of hens shall be permitted for all one- and/or two-family dwellings, provided the following standards are met (these standards do not apply to hens kept in the rural lands zoning districts where agriculture is a permitted use):

A.  It shall be unlawful to keep more than the following number of hens on any tract of land: 

  • 1 to 2 acres: up to a total of 4 hens
  • 2 to 5 acres: up to a total of 10 hens
  • More than 5 acres: up to 2 hens per acre

B.  No hens shall be allowed in multi-family dwellings.

C.  No roosters shall be allowed.

D.  There shall be no outside slaughtering of hens.

E.  All hens shall be kept outdoors within a secure enclosure at all times. The secure enclosure and coop shall be maintained in a humane and sanitary manner.

F.  The secure enclosure and the coop shall comply with minimum yard setbacks for the respective zoning district, and shall not be located within the dwelling's front yard. A zoning permit must be obtained prior to the construction of the enclosure coop, and the keeping of hens.

For more information on this, or for help in obtaining a zoning permit or determining what zoning district your property is located in, please contact the Planning and Development office at 603-448-1524 or by email.

Related Forms and Documents


  • HEN: A female chicken.
  • COOP: A building where female chickens are kept, also referred to as a hen house.
  • SECURE ENCLOSURE: A fence or other form of secure enclosure that will prevent hens from walking, jumping or flying out.