Chickens Zoning Permit

Zoning Permits For the Keeping of Chickens

The following standards regulate the keeping of chickens in certain downtown residential zoning districts. A Zoning Permit Application and a site plan showing that you comply with the required side and rear yard setbacks for your zoning district is required. If you need assistance with this, please call 603-448-1524. The fee for this Zoning Permit is $31.00.

Section 611: Keeping of Chickens

The intent and purpose of this section is to allow the keeping of a limited number of chickens, primarily for the purpose of providing fresh eggs to the occupants of the dwelling. The keeping of chickens shall be permitted for all one- and/or two-family dwellings, provided the following standards are met (these standards do not apply to chickens 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 chickens on any lot: 

  • Up 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 chickens shall be allowed on a lot with a multi-family dwelling. 

C. No roosters shall be allowed in the R-1 or R-2 Districts. In the R-3 District, roosters may be kept on lots larger than 5 acres at a ratio of 1 rooster per 10 hens. 

D. There shall be no outside slaughtering of chickens. 

E. A coop shall be provided within a secure enclosure. All chickens shall be kept outdoors within the 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 the minimum required yards for the respective zoning district, and shall not be located within the front yard. For the keeping of roosters (per Section 611.C), the secure enclosure and coop must maintain a minimum setback of 150 feet from all lot lines. 

G. A zoning permit must be obtained prior to the construction of the secure enclosure, coop, and the keeping of chickens.


  • Hen: A female chicken.
  • Coop: A building where chickens are kept, also referred to as a hen house.
  • Secure Enclosure: A fence or other form of secure enclosure that will prevent chickens from walking, jumping, or flying out. 

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