Backyard Chickens

Backyard Chickens on Private Property(Updated May 6, 2022)

The Village of Glencoe is now accepting applications for Accessory Animal Licenses, which will allow property owners to keep chickens on private residential property. The Village may issue up to ten Accessory Animal Licenses at any given time. Along with the Accessory Animal License application, residents should also submit a Building Permit Application and a Fence Permit Application for their chicken coop and chicken pen structures. 

At the September 23, 2021 Committee of the Whole meeting, the Village Board first discussed the idea of keeping chickens in residential yards. The board was generally receptive to the idea of changing the Village Code to allow backyard chickens, but had some concerns. They asked that the staff research and propose an ordinance that would address those concerns, and ask for general feedback from the community about this change. 

At the January 20, 2022 Committee of the Whole meeting, the Village Board was presented with the draft ordinance and resident comments about keeping backyard chickens. The draft ordinance was drafted after reviewing ordinances and best practices from other communities. The public was also asked for feedback about keeping backyard chickens, which was provided to the Village Board for consideration. Again, the board was generally supportive of the proposed ordinance and asked for some further refinements before bringing it back before them. 

At the March 17 Village Board Meeting, the board discussed a draft ordinance allowing backyard chickens on private property. The board was also presented with additional resident comments and information from other communities about the experience with backyard chickens. After a thorough discussion, the board approved the ordinance that allows chickens to be kept in the backyard.

The following points are highlights of the ordinance that attempt to address many of the concerns brought up by residents in their comments. 

  • The Village had created a licensing program for keeping chickens.
  • The limit on the number of total chickens that can be kept to 4 per property.
  • There is a cap on the total number of licenses for keeping chickens at 10. They will be first-come, first-serve. 
  • Keeping roosters is prohibited.
  • An inspection is required of the property before license issuance and renewal.
  • Chickens are required to be kept in an enclosed pen or coop, and they must have a minimum of four square feet per chicken.
  • Structures must be resistant to predators.
  • The pen and coop must be clean at all times, and not emit noxious odors.
  • The property owner can be fined, or have their license revoked, if they violate any condition of the ordinance.
If you any questions about keeping chickens on residential property, please e-mail Management Analyst Jeff Mawdsley at jmawdsley@villageofglencoe.org.