The Contra Costa County Climate Leaders (4CL) program is a network assisting the county and its 19 cities to inform, support and encourage the measurement and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Through education and sharing of best practices we will ensure sustainable, healthy and livable cities.

Chicken Ordinance

City Chicken Ordinance

WHAT?

A Chicken Ordinance dictates what your city will allow in regards to egg laying hens as pets. Many residents currently house chickens in their backyard. And many others are thinking about it. Unfortunately, this practice isn’t always legal. It is important to update out of date city ordinances.

WHY?

Some cities have out of date ordinances that prevent chickens in residential areas, considering them the same as “Farm Animals”, rather than domestic pets. This means that fresh eggs are only allowed in a home that is zoned for horses or ranch animals such as cows. There are Several BENEFITS to having a handful of domestic pet chickens…while still maintaining a strict no rooster policy.

  • Organic. Have control over the quality of your own eggs.
  • Ensure proper care and diet to limit steroids and chemicals that affect your own health.
  • Reduce harmful greenhouse gases, chemicals, and pesticides that result from factory farming.
  • Prevent groundwater degradation from the large scale chicken production.
  • Use waste products as very high quality fertilizer for personal gardens.
  • Pest control by eating aphids and slugs reducing needs for pesticides in your own yard.
  • Contribute to the local eating movement
  • Contribute to the animal’s rights movement.

WHO?

Local city governments are urged to update their ordinance to allow residential chickens as domestic pets. Such sustainable practices align closely with the environmental concerns among constituents who seek to live sustainable lifestyles. Elected officials are asked to provide the opportunity for their constituents to participate in the growing interest of raising a small number of chickens and eating healthy eggs.

WHERE?

Pleasant Hill has a policy allowing 5 backyard chickens, considering them equal to allowed number of cats and dogs. Concord also allows chickens within their city limits. Lafayette’s ordinance requires 1 acre. The City of Alameda’s policy allows 6 chickens.  Town of Moraga’s ordinance is here.

HOW?

The nationwide movement has created networks of individuals who participate in raising their own chickens backyard chickens.com as well as urbanchickens.org are great places to get inspired, learn the basics, network with other chicken owners and to get started on your own backyard chicken project.

Please contact our organization for more information or to volunteer! info@cccclimateleaders.org

If looking for more information, the following links are a good place to start: