Top 10 Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in Alabama

4 hens in a backyard where there is a U.S. flag

The keeping of backyard chickens in Alabama is regulated at the city and county levels. While some Alabama cities allow urban chicken keeping, others prohibit it outright. If you don't reside in an agricultural area, it is important to check with your city for specific laws regarding chicken keeping in your locality. Ultimately, backyard chicken keeping in Alabama begins with comprehending and following your local animal ordinances. Below, I've compiled a list of major Alabama cities and their chicken-keeping laws.

1. Huntsville, AL

The keeping of backyard chickens is allowed in Huntsville, AL, but under certain conditions. For starters, you must keep your chicken pen at least 150 feet away from neighboring dwellings. Additionally, each chicken must have a minimum ground space of 15 square feet in the pen. Further, you must keep your chickens in such a manner as to not constitute a public nuisance. Nowhere in the City Code does it state whether or not you can have roosters. However, the code prohibits the keeping of noisy animals.

2. Birmingham, AL

You are allowed to keep chickens in your backyard in Birmingham, AL. However, the City Code requires that you keep your chicken enclosure at least 101 feet from any neighboring building. Additionally, a minimum of 15 square feet of space is required for each chicken kept in the enclosure. Further, your chicken enclosure is required to be thoroughly ventilated and of sufficient size.

3. Mobile, AL

You can keep chickens in your backyard within the city limits of Mobile, but you need to adhere to certain rules. To begin with, you need to obtain a permit from the director prior to keeping the chickens. Male chickens (roosters) are prohibited in residentially zoned areas. But if you live in a residential-agricultural (R-A) district, you can have roosters. Your chicken pen must not be located within 150 feet of any dwelling other than your own. The City Code also requires all chicken pens to be thoroughly cleaned and ventilated.

4. Tuscaloosa, AL

If you reside in Tuscaloosa, AL, you are permitted to raise backyard chickens, provided you adhere to certain guidelines. For example, you are required by law to keep your chickens in a secure enclosure so as to prevent them from running at large. In addition, you must keep your chicken enclosure 300 feet from any building, be it public or private.

5. Phenix City, AL

Phenix City's municipal code allows chickens as well as other domestic birds to be kept within the city limits. Domestic birds you are permitted to keep in your backyard include chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, quails, and pheasants. You are required to keep your domestic birds in a secure enclosure. This enclosure must be located at least 300 feet or more from any residence, church, school, or public building.

6. Opelika, AL

In Opelika, AL, you need to obtain a permit to keep chickens in a residential area. But before you are issued the permit, you need a property of a minimum lot size of 10,000 square feet. In addition, the principal use of the property must be a single-family dwelling. On lots 10,000 square feet to 19,999 square feet, a maximum of 4 chickens is allowed. On lots 20, 000 square feet to 29,999 square feet, no more than 6 chickens are allowed. A maximum of 10 chickens may be kept on lots 30,000 square feet or greater.

Male chickens are prohibited as well as the slaughtering and breeding of chickens. You must keep your chickens in an enclosure or fenced area, which must provide at least 6 square feet of space per chicken. Additionally, the enclosure or fenced area must be located at least 10 feet from property lines and 50 feet from neighboring dwellings.

7. Daphne, AL

The keeping of female chickens (hens) is permitted in single-family residential zones and single-family residential PUD (Planned Unit Development) districts in Daphne, AL. No more than 2 hens may be kept on parcels with a lot area between 5,000 square feet and 7,799 square feet.

On parcels with a lot area between 7,800 square feet and 3 acres, a maximum of 4 hens is allowed. Then no more than 8 hens on parcels with a lot area over 3 acres. All hens must be kept in a henhouse or run and for personal use only (no selling of eggs or breeding of hens). For more details, please refer to the City Ordinance.

8. Homewood, AL

The City of Homewood allows chickens and other domestic birds to be kept in residential areas under certain conditions. For starters, your chickens must produce no noise or odor, thereby becoming a nuisance. In addition, your chicken enclosure must be situated more than 300 feet from any neighboring building. Further, the ordinance requires chicken enclosures to be located more than 100 feet from any road, street, or other thoroughfare. The number or type of chickens you can keep is not restricted, so long as you adhere to those guidelines.

9. Bessemer, AL

The keeping of backyard chickens is allowed in Bessemer, AL, but a permit is required to do so. Per Sec. 14-14 of the City's Code of Ordinances, a permit must be obtained from the county health department to keep chickens within 30 feet of a dwelling house or 12 feet of a lot line. This means that you don't need a permit if you are not keeping chickens within 30 feet of a dwelling house or 12 feet of a lot line. You must not keep chickens in an unsanitary or obnoxious condition.

10. Fairhope, AL

The City of Fairhope allows you to keep a limited number of chickens in your backyard for non-commercial purposes. The City Code allows for chickens to be kept on all parcels of 7,800 square feet in single-family residential zones. Up to 4 female chickens (hens) may be kept on parcels of 7,800 square feet. Your hen house must be located more than 50 feet from any public right-of-way, at least 10 feet from any property line, and at least 25 feet from the residence.

Other Alabama Municipalities

Municipality Guideline
Albertville, AL Chickens must be kept 200 feet from any residence
Mountain Brook, AL Chickens must not emit noise or obnoxious odor
Anniston, AL Up to 6 hens on residential property with a single-family dwelling
Oxford, AL Chickens must be kept 300 feet from any nearby building
Chickasaw, AL 6 Hens. Permit required
Hueytown Running at large prohibited
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