City of Salem, Virginia, Chicken Ordinance
Are Chickens Allowed?
Are Roosters Allowed?
Is Permission Required?
Yes - $25 annually - application in link below
Any Coop Restrictions?
Chickens shall not be allowed to roam free. They shall be kept in an enclosed secure area not to exceed a total of 128 square feet, herein after known as a pen. Pens shall include a coop (enclosed structure) containing a minimum of 1.5 square foot per hen and an open run area containing a minimum of 8 square feet per hen. Pens may be portable. *more details below*
The limited keeping of chickens may be permitted as an accessory use to single family dwellings subject to the following conditions: Each parcel shall contain one single family dwelling and must have a minimum lot size of one-quarter acre (10,890 square feet). Chickens are defined herein as domestic female chicken hens. Roosters are prohibited. Chickens shall be kept for the household’s personal consumption only. Commercial use such as selling eggs or selling chickens for meat shall be prohibited. There shall be no slaughtering or processing of chickens. No more than 6 chickens shall be allowed. Adequate shelter, care and control of the chickens are required. Any person allowed to keep chickens under this section shall comply with all of the provisions and requirements of the City and State Code regarding care, shelter, sanitation, health, rodent control, cruelty, neglect, noise, reasonable control and any other requirements pertaining to, but not limited to, the adequate care and control of animals in the city. The owner of the chickens shall 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 may be removed by an animal control officer. Chickens shall not be allowed to roam free. They shall be kept in an enclosed secure area not to exceed a total of 128 square feet, herein after known as a pen. Pens shall include a coop (enclosed structure) containing a minimum of 1.5 square foot per hen and an open run area containing a minimum of 8 square feet per hen. Pens may be portable. The materials used for pens shall be uniform and kept in good condition to protect the safety of the chickens. All pens must be at least 5 feet from the property lines and no closer than 50 feet from any adjacent principal structure, situate on an adjacent parcel, other than that of the owner of the chickens. Portable pens shall be moved on a regular basis. All pens shall be located in the rear yard only. All pens shall be located out of any drainage areas that could allow fecal matter to enter a storm drainage system or stream. All pens shall be constructed and maintained so as to be impermeable to rodents, wild birds, and predators, including dogs and cats, and to prevent such animals or other pests from being harbored underneath, inside, or within the walls of the enclosure. All pens must be kept dry, well-ventilated, and in sanitary condition at all times, and must be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent offensive odors. All manure not used for composting or fertilizing shall be removed promptly. Odors from chickens, manure, or other chicken-related substances shall not be detectable at the property boundaries. All feed or other material intended for consumption by the chicken shall be kept in containers impenetrable by rats or other rodents, and such container shall be equipped with tightly fitting caps or lids. All feeding shall be conducted in a manner so as to prevent unconsumed food from being accessible to other animals or rodents. The presence of rodents in an area used for the keeping of chickens shall be prima facie evidence that such area is maintained in violation of this section. Composting of chicken litter and waste on site is highly encouraged. If any litter and/or waste is to be disposed of, it must be double bagged and securely closed and deposited in either a City approved receptacle or taken to the City Transfer Station. Also, any dead chickens shall also be double bagged and securely closed and deposited in either a City approved receptacle or taken to the City Transfer Station. Disposal of litter, waste, and dead chickens on public land or in the sewage or storm water collection system is strictly prohibited.
City of Salem P.O. Box 869 114 N. Broad St. Salem, VA 24153 (540) 375-3000