Decode the code: Can you keep chickens in your Cowtown backyard?

Want fresh eggs every day? Check out Fort Worth’s regulations about keeping chickens in your backyard.

Up-close photo of a rooster

Are you looking at me?

Photo by FTWtoday

Fort Worth may be known as Cowtown, but cows aren’t the only farm animals that might grace your property. Today, we’re here to decode — or de-cluck, pardon the pun — the code for keeping chickens in your backyard.

Local regulations

The city code designates chickens as a regulated animal and allows them on residential or mixed-use commercial properties within city limits, as long as residents follow certain guidelines. Be sure to check with your local homeowners association for specific guidelines.

No free-range chickens here — birds must be kept in a fully enclosed coop or pen at least 50 ft away from any regulated structure such as a house, restaurant, or school. Chickens can be kept in a barn or shed as long as it is specifically designed for animals.

People keeping chickens must also follow city guidelines about the cleanliness of the property and proper waste disposal.

Photo of baby chicks in a pen under a heat lamp.

The number of chickens you can have is dependent on the size of your property.

Photo by FTWtoday

How many chickens can I have?

The number of birds allowed depends on the size of your lot and no property can have more than two roosters.

  • A property measuring 0.5 acre or less can have 12 fowl.
  • A property measuring between 0.5-1 acres can have 25 fowl.
  • A property measuring one acre or more can have 50 fowl.

Can I sell the eggs?

Texas allows people to sell eggs from their backyard, but they must follow the regulations set by the Texas Department of Agriculture and Texas Department of State Health Services and hold appropriate permits. Learn more about the requirements to sell eggs at a local farmers market.