Keeping Chickens

The keeping of chickens is permitted in many of our residential districts under a zoning permit with some additional regulations to avoid conflicts with neighboring properties. The application can be applied for at the City of Lebanon website under the Planning & Zoning page: Online Permit Application. An aerial view or site plan showing the location and dimension away from the property lines of the coop and pen is required. Please include pictures of the proposed coop as well. These are easily attached online during the permit process. If you have any trouble with the application process, please contact the Zoning Permit Office at 513-228-3171 or

Backyard Chicken FAQ

Helpful Articles:
Raising Chickens 101: How to Get Started
Chicken Time Commitment 

The following regulations apply:
  1. Exterior building materials shall be of the same quality as the surrounding development and not adversely impact surrounding development.
  2. No person shall keep chickens inside a single-family dwelling unit, multi-family dwelling unit(s) or rental unit. Chickens shall only be permitted on single-family properties and are not permitted on two-family and multi-family properties.
  3. No person shall keep chickens on a vacant or uninhabited tract of land. Only female chickens (hens) are allowed. No person shall keep a rooster.
  4. The maximum number of hens allowed is six (6) per occupied tract of land. For lots over one (1) acre the maximum number of hens allowed is twelve (12).
  5. A permit shall not allow the permittee to engage in chicken breeding, culling, or fertilizer production for commercial purposes.
  6. Any violation of the terms of this Chapter that constitutes a health hazard or that interferes with the use or enjoyment of neighboring property is a nuisance and may be abated under the general nuisance abatement provisions. Noise from chickens shall not be loud enough beyond the boundaries of the permitted tract of land at the property boundaries to disturb persons of reasonable sensitivity. Odors from hens, chicken manure or other chicken related substances shall not be perceptible beyond the boundaries of the permitted tract of land.
  7. Chickens and coops shall only be located in the rear yard. Hens must be kept in an enclosure or fenced area at all times. The hens shall not roam off the permitted property. No dog or cat or other domesticated animal which kills a chicken off the permitted tract of land will, for that reason alone, not be considered a dangerous or aggressive animal or the City's responsibility to enforce its animal control provisions.
  8. Hens shall be secured within a coop during non-daylight hours. Coops, chicken tractors and chicken pens must be located at least twenty (20) feet from all property lines. Coops and chicken pens shall be screened from view from adjacent properties with a combination of fencing and landscaping, and the following shall apply:
    1. The materials used in making a coop shall meet the accessory use standards. The use of scrap, waste board, sheet metal, or similar materials is prohibited. Coops shall be well maintained.
    2. Any enclosed chicken pen shall consist of sturdy wire fencing. The pen must be covered with wire, aviary netting, or solid roofing. Coops and chicken pens must provide adequate ventilation and adequate sun and shade and must be impenetrable to rodents, wild birds and predators, including dogs and cats.
    3. Coops shall be designed to provide safe and healthy living conditions for the chickens with a minimum of four (4) square feet per bird while minimizing adverse impacts to other residents in the neighborhood. Enclosures must be kept in a clean, dry, odor-free, neat and sanitary condition at all times.
    4. A coop shall be enclosed on all sides and shall have a roof and doors. Access doors must be able to be shut and locked at night. Opening windows and vents must be covered with predator and bird proof wire of less than one (1) inch openings.
  9. The Permittee 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 to human habitation may be removed.
  10. Hens shall be provided with access to feed and clean water at all times. The feed and water shall be unavailable to rodents, wild birds and predators.
  11. All stored manure shall be covered by a fully enclosed structure with a roof or lid over the entire structure. No more than three (3) cubic feet of manure shall be stored on the permitted tract of land. All other manure not used for composting or fertilizing shall be removed. The coop and surrounding area must be kept free from trash and accumulated droppings. Uneaten feed shall be removed in a timely manner.
  12. Following two (2) violations, the city can revoke the right to permit hens on the subject property.
  13. If the proposed structure is located within the floodplain and shall be in compliance with the anchoring and flood opening requirements as outlined by the City's Floodplain Administrator/City Engineer.
  14. The proposed structure complies with applicable size, location, setback, and height standards for accessory structures as required under Ch. 1133.15 E. of the Lebanon Zoning Code.
  15. The property owner is responsible for locating and verifying property lines to ensure the proposed accessory structure is accurately located and constructed as proposed on the plot plan, and in accordance with applicable setback requirements.  The property owner is also responsible for obtaining any necessary review and approval by their Homeowner's Association. 
  16. On-site drainage shall not affect adjoining properties and the grading shall be performed per the approved plot plan.
  17. A final inspection by the City of Lebanon is required after installation/construction of the structure is complete. Please call (513) 228-3171 at least 24 hours in advance to schedule an inspection.
  18. The subject zoning permit is valid for a period not to exceed one year from the approval date.  Failure to obtain a building permit (if required), to perform the proposed work and schedule required inspections within the one year timeframe, will result in the permit expiring. If the permit expires, the applicant shall be required to apply for a new permit.