Top 10 Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in Arkansas

a flock of hens

The keeping of backyard chickens is increasingly becoming popular in Arkansas. The practice offers multiple benefits to residents, with the most immediate being the constant supply of fresh eggs. It goes without saying that if you live in an agricultural area within Arkansas, you won't have issues keeping chickens.

However, if live in a residential area, you might be faced with local laws restricting or banning such practices. Luckily, chickens are allowed to be kept in many residential areas in Arkansas.

All you have to do is adhere to certain guidelines, such as coop placement and health conditions. Depending on your specific location, you might also be required to obtain a permit prior to keeping chickens in your backyard.

To determine if chickens are allowed in your place of residence, you may contact your local animal control office, city clerk's office, or zoning department. Meanwhile, see the top ten Arkansas municipalities where backyard chickens are permitted.

1. Little Rock, AR

In Little Rock, AR, you can keep chickens, guinea fowl, and turkeys in your backyard under certain conditions. The city's municipal code requires that you provide your chickens with adequate housing. Specifically, each chicken must have a floor space of 3 square feet inside their coop. Such a coop is required to be located at least 5 feet from your residence and 25 feet from neighboring residences. Furthermore, you must not permit your chickens and other fowl to run at large.

2. Fayetteville, AR

In March 2014, the City of Fayetteville passed an Urban Agriculture Ordinance, allowing the keeping of chickens in residential areas. Under this ordinance, hens and ducks are legal to keep but roosters are prohibited. You may keep a maximum of 4 hens or ducks on any lot, regardless of size. On lots larger than 5000 square feet, one hen may be kept per 1250 square feet of lot area, up to a maximum of 20 hens.

You may place your chicken coop in the side or rear yard and 25 feet from neighboring residences. Additionally, there is a space requirement of 3 square feet per hen, which must also have outside access. Further, your hens must be wing-clipped or a breed that cannot fly. The slaughtering of chickens must be done in a discreet location, away from prying eyes.

3. Fort Smith, AR

On July 16, 2023, Arkansas Online reported that Fort Smith directors amended fowl regulations to allow more chickens and ducks. Per the local outlet, City directors voted unanimously to prohibit roosters and to increase the number of hens residents can keep within the city from 10 to 20. However, a minimum of one-half acre is required to have up to 20 chickens in Fort Smith, AR.

A reasonable number of hens are also allowed on smaller lots. Fort Smith's municipal code prohibits owners from permitting their hens to run at large within the city limits. It also prohibits the slaughtering of animals for food consumption.

4. Jonesboro, AR

Backyard chickens are allowed in Jonesboro, AR, but no more than 5 chickens are allowed per residential property. The City Code prohibits you from allowing your chickens to be at large. It also makes it unlawful to keep chickens which disturbs the peace of neighbors by loud noises. This technically means that the keeping of roosters is not allowed in Jonesboro, AR.

5. Rogers, AR

If you reside in Rogers, AR, you are required to obtain a $5 permit from Rogers Animal Services if you wish to keep chickens in your backyard. This requirement does not apply to chickens kept in areas of the city that are zoned A-1. In residential areas, a maximum of 4 chickens is allowed per single-family dwelling. Roosters as well as the outside slaughtering of hens are not allowed.

Additionally, the city code does not allow the keeping of chickens in multifamily complexes, including duplexes. All hens must be kept at all times in a secure enclosure, which must be situated at least 25 feet from the nearest neighbor's residence. Furthermore, hen enclosures are required to be kept at all times in a neat and sanitary condition so as to prevent offensive odors.

6. Conway, AR

In Conway, AR, the keeping of chickens, along with guinea fowl, ducks, and geese is legal, provided certain rules are adhered to. For example, the city's municipal code requires chickens to not go beyond the enclosure of their owner. It also requires that chickens be provided with adequate food and water and be maintained in a comfortable, healthy, and stress-free manner. Furthermore, chicken pens must be cleaned regularly to prevent undue odors.

7. North Little Rock, AR

The City of North Little Rock recognizes the many benefits of raising backyard chickens and therefore allows its residents to obtain a $10 permit to engage in such practices. The permit, which can be obtained from the city clerk, allows you to keep chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl, peafowl, and doves. The city code requires chicken pens to be kept 75 feet from any residence or dwelling other than your own. Additionally, chicken pens must not be kept in an unsanitary manner.

8. Pine Bluff, AR

Pine Bluff's municipal code allows for up to 5 chickens to be kept within the city limits. The ordinance requires that you provide your chickens with adequate housing. This chicken house must be kept at least 5 feet from your residence and 25 feet from the house of the nearest neighbor.

9. Hot Springs, AR

The keeping of chickens, guinea fowl, and turkeys is permitted within the limits of Hot Springs, AR. The city code requires that chickens be confined within an enclosure, which must provide 4 square feet per chicken kept therein.

All chicken pens, houses, and enclosures are required to be situated 100 feet from any residence other than your own. Furthermore, you are required to maintain your chicken enclosure in such a condition as not to become unsanitary.

10. Sherwood, AR

The City of Sherwood's Animal Care and Control Ordinance allows for up to 12 chickens to be kept on residential property of less than one acre. Of the 12 chickens allowed, no more than one may be a rooster. You must provide at least 3 square feet of space per chicken inside a leakproof structure. Further, you may allow your chickens to run free inside a fenced backyard as long as they do not escape your property.
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