Iowa City Chicken Laws

Are chickens allowed in Iowa City?Yes
How many chickens can you have?4
Can you have roosters in Iowa City?No
Chicken coop placement rules:Coops at least 25 feet from your neighbors’ homes and 5 feet from your lot lines.
Application process:Permit required
More information:Iowa City Urban Chicken Resolution

Thanks to a relatively recent resolution that passed, residents of Iowa City can keep a handful of hens in their backyards.

If you’re interested in raising backyard chickens in Iowa City, keep reading for more information.

  • Number of allowed chickens. Iowa City, Iowa, allows residents to keep up to four (4) backyard chickens.
  • Prohibition of roosters. To avoid noise disturbances, roosters are not permitted within city limits.
  • Permit acquisition. Residents must obtain a permit to keep backyard chickens, which involves submitting an application and paying any applicable fees.
  • Coop and run specifications. Chicken coops must be well-ventilated, secure against predators, and designed for ease of maintenance. Each chicken should have at least 3 square feet of space in the coop and a minimum of 10 square feet of space in the run.
  • Placement of coops and setback requirements. Chicken coops need to be located a minimum of 25 feet away from any neighboring residential dwelling and at least 5 feet away from property lines.
  • Maintenance and sanitation. It is essential to maintain clean and sanitary conditions in chicken coops and runs, with proper waste disposal and regular cleaning required.
  • Slaughter limitations. Slaughtering chickens is not allowed on residential properties within the city limits.
  • Homeowners’ Association (HOA) guidelines. Residents are advised to consult their HOA to determine if backyard chickens are allowed under their community’s specific rules. In some instances, HOA regulations may take precedence over city rules.

Seeking guidance from the relevant local authorities is the best way to make sure you have the most recent and reliable information on keeping backyard chickens in Iowa City.

See other Iowa chicken ordinances.

Last updated: 5/4/23