Top 10 Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in Colorado

A red hen

If you reside in Colorado, egg prices may have you considering alternative options. One of those options is owning backyard chickens. One of the benefits you get from raising chickens in your backyard is fresh eggs. What's more, studies show that backyard chicken eggs are healthier than store-bought. Fortunately, many Colorado cities recognize these backyard chicken benefits and consequently permit their residents to engage in such practice.

You won't have a problem owning chickens if you live in a rural or agricultural zone within Colorado. However, in residential zones, there are bylaws that either prohibit or restrict backyard chickens. In addition, Homeowners Associations (HOAs) may prohibit chickens even if it is allowed under city law. Therefore, prior to bringing chickens into your backyard, be sure to check your local municipal code or HOA bylaws.

Below, I've listed a few Colorado municipalities where backyard chickens are allowed.

1. Denver, CO

If you are considering raising backyard chickens in Denver, Colorado, you're in luck. Denver is chicken-friendly, with its municipal code allowing residents to own up to 8 chickens. However, only female chickens (hens) are allowed to be kept. Male chickens (roosters) are banned due to their crowing behavior. That said, a permit is required to keep hens in Denver. The city code requires each hen to have at least 16 square feet of permeable land area.

2. Colorado Springs, CO

Backyard chickens are allowed in Colorado Springs! The City Code allows you to keep up to 10 chickens (excluding roosters) ages six months or older. A chicken coop must provide at least 4 square feet of floor space for each chicken kept therein.

3. Aurora, CO

The keeping of chickens and/or ducks is allowed within the city limits of Aurora, CO. However, you are required to obtain a permit from the director of housing and community services department prior to keeping the chickens or ducks. Under the permit, roosters are prohibited. Only hens or ducks are allowed.

On lots less than 20,000 square feet, up to 6 hens are allowed. If you wish to keep ducks, you may have no more than 4 hens and 2 ducks. A maximum of 8 hens may be kept on lots of 20,000 or more square feet. Please refer to Sec. 14-134 of Aurora's municipal code for additional details.

4. Fort Collins, CO

Unless you live in an agricultural zone, you are required to obtain a permit from NOCO Humane to own chickens and ducks in Fort Collins, CO. Depending on the size of your property, you can own from 6 to 12 hens or ducks in Fort Collins. If you own more than 12 hens you are required to give your neighbors written notification.

5. Lakewood, CO

In addition to being a source of fresh eggs and fertilizer, backyard chickens can be a great pet, says the city of Lakewood. Here, whether or not you can have chickens depends on your zone district. In the R-1-43, R-1-18, R-1-12, and R-1-9 zone districts, a permit is not required to keep chickens.

However, your chicken coop must be located 15 feet from all property lines and provide 4 square feet of space per chicken. On the other hand, a permit is required to keep a maximum of 6 chickens in the R-1-6 and R-2 zone districts. Refer to the table below for more info:

Chicken-keeping table with data

6. Thornton, CO

No more than six backyard chickens are permitted per lot developed with single-family detached dwellings in the city of Thornton, CO. Roosters are prohibited and hens are allowed to be kept only in the backyard of the property. Chicken coops are required to be located 5 feet from all sides and rear property lines. Additionally, chicken coops must be predator-proof and provide a minimum of 6 square feet of space per hen.

7. Arvada, CO

In Arvada, CO, chickens and turkeys are permitted to be kept in all zoning districts. However, in zoning districts other than the RA and RN-32.5, no more than five female chickens are allowed. If you wish to have turkeys, you may keep 3 female chickens and two female turkeys in combination. Male chickens and male turkeys are allowed only in the RA and RN-32.5 zoning districts. The city code requires that you keep your chickens or turkeys 35 feet from neighboring dwellings.

8. Westminster, CO

You can keep chickens in your backyard in the city of Westminster, CO. However, you need to obtain a Backyard Livestock Permit to do so. Under the permit, a maximum of 6 female chickens is allowed on any lot, regardless of size. On lots of 2 Acres or more, up to 12 female chickens may be kept. There is a one-time fee of $25 for the permit.

9. Pueblo, CO

The keeping of backyard chickens is growing in popularity in the city of Pueblo, CO. Currently, the city code allows property owners to have up to 10 backyard chickens. However, you must adhere to certain rules, such as not permitting your chickens to be at large. You must also not keep chickens within 50 feet of any dwelling other than yours.

10. Centennial, CO

Unless you live in an agricultural or neighborhood conservation zone within Centennial, CO, you are not permitted to have more than 6 female chickens. The city code specifies that chickens must be contained in a secure enclosure between dusk and dawn.

Other Colorado Municipalities That Allow Backyard Chickens

  • Boulder, CO
  • Longmont, CO
  • Loveland, CO
  • Castle Rock
  • Broomfield, CO
  • Grand Junction, CO
  • Littleton, CO
  • Brighton, CO
  • Northglenn, CO
  • Windsor, CO
  • Erie, CO
Note that this list is not all-inclusive, as many more Colorado municipalities allow backyard chickens.
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