Keeping Chickens in the City

Fresh eggs...from your backyard.

For years, city residents have been planting gardens and raising their own vegetables, keeping our area's rich agricultural heritage alive well before terms like "slow food" had worked their way into the lexicon. Now, residents looking to expand their backyard food selection have the option of adding fresh eggs to the mix. Beginning in 2011, the City of Spartanburg started allowing its residents to keep laying hens on their property, setting the local bar for urban agriculture at a new high.

For those wishing to keep laying hens, here are a few general rules:

  • No more than six female chickens may be kept at any residence; no roosters are allowed
  • Chickens must be kept in fully enclosed coop with a solid floor, must be made of a suitable, washable material, and must be placed in a backyard 
  • Chicken Coops must be placed at least 50 feet from any neighboring residence.
  • Fenced enclosures and chicken coops must be property ventilated, and must be kept clean, dry, and odor-free.
  • Written permission to keep chickens must be obtained from all abutting property onwers.
  • An annual permit to keep hens must be obtained.

For more information, please see the city ordinance and full list of requirements for keeping chickens in the City of Spartanburg. For more information on keeping domesticated chickens in an urban environment, check out

Getting Started