Backyard Chickens

At the March 8, 2018 Carlisle Borough Council meeting, Council approved an Ordinance amendment to Chapter 80 of the Borough Code that creates an annual permitting and regulatory system for the keeping ofPhoto of Chicken chickens on residential and institutional use lots.

 

What do I need to do if I want chickens in my backyard?

  • You must be issued a permit by the Borough of Carlisle. This permit shall be issued after an inspection is performed confirming compliance with the requirements of  §80-9.C of the ordinance and the payment of a fee of $50. The permit shall be valid for one year and must be renewed annually after inspection and payment of the required fee.

 

How many chickens can I have?

  • Up to a maximum of four. No roosters are permitted.

What are the lot type and size requirements for the keeping of backyard chickens?

  • Chickens can be kept on any residential lot in the R-1 Low Density Residential zoning district as an accessory to the residential use of the lot.
  • Chickens can be kept on any residential lot in the Borough as an accessory use to the residential use of the lot, having a lot area of 5,000 or more square feet
  • Chickens can be kept on any lot in the INS Institutional zoning district as an accessory use of the lot, having a lot area of 5,000 or more square feet.

Where must the chickens be kept?

  • Chickens may only be kept in the rear yard of the lot.
  • Chickens must be kept within a coop or shelter which is fully enclosed (top or roof) with wire mesh fencing of a size that will not allow escape from the pen enclosure.
  • The coop or shelter must be fully screened and buffered by fencing and/or vegetation so as not to be visible from any public right-of-way or street.
  • The coop or shelter must be designed in compliance with any state standards or regulations pertaining to livestock or animal protection and/or health standards.
  • There must be a 60-foot minimum separation maintained between the coop or shelter and any adjacent residential structures
  • Bedding in the coop or shelter must be changed on a daily basis, not openly stored and used bedding properly disposed of on a weekly basis.

In addition to these requirements, eggs or chickens from the use on the lot may not be sold commercially or as a home occupation.

Also, any slaughtering of chickens cannot take place in the backyard or anywhere outside. The slaughtering must be done within the residence or other principal structure on the lot.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention offers tips for safely handling backyard chickens and their eggs.

Keeping of Backyard Chickens Ordinance
Keeping of Backyard Chickens Permit Application