Residential Chicken Keeping in Adams County
Adams County allows for the keeping of chickens as an accessory use with any legal detached, single-family residential use, excluding mobile homes or where otherwise regulated by State Law. Standards and specific regulations can be found in Chapter 4, Section 4-22-06-02 of the Adams County Development Standards and Regulations. These regulations are intended to permit chicken keeping for household purposes and not for profit. Download our printed chicken keeping guide (link to attached file)
Is there a limit to the number of chickens I can have?
Yes. No more than six (6) domestic chicken hens shall be permitted per property. Three (3) chickens shall equal one (1) household pet. Roosters are strictly prohibited, excluding Agricultural Zoned Properties.
What kind of shelter or coop is required for my chickens?
Chickens must be provided with a covered, predator-resistant shelter that is properly ventilated and heated with nesting boxes designed to be easily accessed, cleaned, and maintained. The shelter must provide at least three (3) square feet per chicken but cannot exceed 120 square feet.
Where can my chicken structures be located?
Chicken structures and perimeter fencing shall be located in the rear or backyard of the lot as determined by the street frontage. Neither the structure nor the perimeter fencing shall be located less than five (5) feet from any abutting property line.
Is fencing required around my chickens?
Yes. Chickens shall be confined to areas that are fully enclosed with adequate perimeter fencing to prevent the chickens from escaping and predators from entering. All fences must comply with Section 4-07-01-02-02 (Residential Use Fencing, Walls and Screening) and be kept in good repair. Fencing materials can include wood, stone, and wire, and all fences must be a minimum of 42 inches in height. Any fencing with openings that would allow for a chicken to pass through will not be deemed adequate. All fences and walls more than forty-two (42) inches in height require a building permit.
What about Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)?
Yes. ADUs are allowed to keep chickens as long as the cumulative number of chickens per property does not exceed six (6). The property owner will need to provide information and consent as part of the permitting process.
Where do I start?
A permit, or annual registration, issued by Adams County is required before chickens will be allowed on any property (permits are not required in A-1, A-2, and A-3 zones). This registration expires after twelve (12) months and must be renewed every year. The registration/renewal process is free. Adams County may inspect the parcel for which the permit is requested prior to the issuance of a permit. To register for a permit, visit the Adams County E-Permit Center.
What information will I need to register my chickens?
Adams County will require owner and applicant information (if applicable), property address, contact information, and plans or drawings showing the location of all chicken facilities to be located on the property for which the permit is requested. Upon submitting your application, you will be required to sign stating you understand the requirements and your site plan demonstrates compliance with the requirements set out in Section 4-22-06-02-03.
Where can I go to see if there is a permit or violation issued on a specific property?
Use Eye on Adams, an online mapping program, to see if a specific property has been issued a permit or a violation. Properties with any outstanding violations will not be issued a permit and renewals will not be approved.
What happens if Adams County denies or revokes my permit?
The county may deny or revoke a permit if violations or nuisances occur. If a permit has been revoked, denied, or expired, all chickens and chicken structures shall be removed within 14 days of such event.
Can I have chickens on my property if I live in a Planned Unit Development (PUD) District or have an HOA?
Always contact your HOA/Covenants prior to pursuing permits with Adams County. Check the rules and regulations in your PUD. If chickens are not allowed in your PUD, you will not be permitted to have chickens on your property.