Chickens

Springfield residents are allowed to keep chickens on their property, as long as they follow these rules:

  • Maximum of six hens per tract of land, regardless of the number of homes or apartments on the land.
  • No roosters allowed.
  • No breeding or fertilizer production for commercial purposes.
  • No free-roaming chickens allowed. Chickens must be kept in an enclosure or fenced area at all times, and must be secured in a henhouse or chicken tractor during non-daylight hours.
  • Enclosures must be kept clean, dry, odor-free, neat and sanitary at all times, so as not to cause odor or noise problems with neighbors. Enforcement is complaint-based.
  • Enclosures
    • Must be located no closer than three feet from property lines and at least 25 feet from another residence or business.
    • Must provide adequate ventilation, sun and shade.
    • Must be impermeable to rodents, wild birds and predators, including dogs and cats.
    • Must be located to the rear of the dwelling or other main structure and may be located in the rear
      yard as required by the zoning code.
  • The chicken owner must take necessary action to reduce the attraction of predators and rodents and the potential infestation of insects and parasites.
  • Chickens found to be infested with insects and parasites that may result in unhealthy conditions to human habitation may be removed by an animal control officer.
  • The chicken owner must provide for the storage and removal of chicken manure. All stored manure shall be covered by a fully enclosed structure with a roof or lid over the entire structure. No more than three cubic feet of manure shall be stored. All other manure not used for composting or fertilizing shall be removed.

Keeping your family healthy with chickens

Chickens, ducks, and other poultry can carry and spread Salmonella, a germ that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and/or abdominal cramps. Infants, elderly persons, and those with weakened immune systems are more likely than other to develop severe illness, which can lead to hospitalization.

  • Do not let children younger than 5 years of age handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry without supervision.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Avoid touching your mouth before washing your hands. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
  • Wash hands after removing soiled clothes and shoes.
  • Do not eat or drink in the area where the birds live or roam.
  • Do not let live poultry live inside the house or in areas where food or drink is prepared, served or stored,
    such as kitchens, pantries or outdoor patios.
  • Assume that anywhere the chickens live and roam is contaminated.
  • Clean poultry-related equipment and materials outside your home, not inside.
chicken