Backyard Hens

In response to numerous requests from the community, the City Council updated the regulations in regards to the keeping of hens. Beginning on October 8, 2016, properties developed as a single-family residence may keep hens, regardless of the size of the property. 

Number of Hens Allowed

The City allows hens to be kept on single-family residentially zoned property, regardless of lot size. Up to 6 hens may be kept on properties less than 10,000 square feet and properties 10,000 square feet or larger are not limited to 6. Hens may not be kept on duplex, condo, or other similar multi-family properties, regardless of lot size. Roosters may only be kept on lots zoned RD-1 or RD-2 or lot properties 20,000 sf or larger. A hen is a considered a female chicken 6 months and older, whose main purpose is for egg production. These regulations do not pertain to roosters or any other fowl including pigeons, ducks, geese, turkey, or peafowl.

Containment of Hens

Hens kept on lots less than 10,000 square feet must be kept in a coop from sunset to sunrise. Hens may roam free within a fully fenced rear or side yard area during daylight hours.

Coop Design

Coops shall be designed with the following minimum standards:

  • Be constructed with solid walls with ventilation to allow air flow
  • Secure and predator proof
  • No taller than 6-feet

Coop Placement

Coops must be placed within the rear or side yard of a property and meet the following minimum placement standards:

  • 5 feet from side/rear property line (a greater distance is encouraged) AND
  • May not be closer than 20 feet to a habitable structure on an adjacent property


Residents are responsible for keeping hen coops in clean and sanitary conditions. All feed and other times associated with the keeping of hens must be kept in metal containers to minimize contact with rodents.

For additional zoning information related to the keeping of hens or other animals refer to Section 106.42.030 of the Zoning Code or contact the Planning Division at (916) 727-4740.