Great Falls, MT Chicken Ordinance

We are asking Billings to use the following proposed ordinance amendments, as being considered at this time by Great Falls, MT.

6.12. Urban chickens (Gallus Gallus Domesticus)

Chapter 12



6.12.010 Applicability

6.12.020 Maintaining unlawful

6.12.030 License required

6.12.040 Number of Chickens

6.12.050 Identification required

6.12.060 Shelter requirement

6.12.070 Distance requirement

6.12.080 Chickens at large

6.12.090 Supply of feed and water

6.12.100 Sanitation

6.12.110 Penalties and violations

6.12.010 Applicability

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the R-1 residential zoning district where Agriculture, livestock is a permitted accessory use that allows for the raising of chickens with limited provisions and regulations.

6.12.020 Maintaining unlawful

It is unlawful for any party to keep chickens (Gallus Gallus Domesticus) without first obtaining an Urban Chickens license from the City ofGreat Falls. An annual fee shall be assessed on licensing as established by City Commission resolution. (Ord. 2705, 1997; Ord. 2394 (part), 1985).

6.12.030 License required

A. Prior to the keeping of any chickens, a party seeking to keep chickens shall obtain an Urban Chicken license from the City ofGreat Falls. Only one license shall be issued per household. An Urban Chicken license is specific to the license holder and the location of the license. Each licensed party shall be provided with a specific license number.

B. An Urban Chicken license shall not be issued to any party not meeting all of the requirements of this chapter. The following provisions shall apply to Urban Chickens licenses:

1. Inspection. The property shall be inspected by an Animal Control Officer; such inspection shall include the chicken house and secure enclosure, and setback of said structure from property lines and adjacent dwelling units.

2. Recommendation. Following the inspection, the Animal Control Officer will recommend to the licensing authority either approval or disapproval of the application.

3. Fee. An annual Urban Chicken license fee shall be established by resolution of the City


4. Renewals. All Urban Chicken licenses shall expire one year from the date of issuance unless revoked prior to that date. An Urban Chicken license must be renewed within sixty days of the expiration date of the license, or the license will be treated as a new application. An Urban Chicken license renewal fee shall be established by resolution of the City Commission.

5. License Revocation. An Animal Control Officer will investigate all complaints concerning licensing or improperly operated chicken keeping and may recommend revocation of the license if it is deemed necessary. The license holder will be given at least five days written notice of such recommendation during which time the license holder may appeal the Animal Control Officer’s recommendation to the Animal Control Agency. The licensing authority will then take action as required. (Ord. 2534 §2(Exh. B(part)), 1989).

6.12.040 Number of chickens

A. No more than six (6) female domestic chickens (hens) shall be kept on any property.

B. No male domestic chicken (rooster) over the age of three (3) months shall be kept on any property.

6.12.050 Identification required

A. Licensees shall be required to place and keep leg or wing bands on all chickens, clearly displaying the licensee’s license number, as a means of identification and proof of licensing.

6.12.060 Shelter requirement

Chickens shall be provided with a chicken coop consisting of two adjacent and connected parts:

A. A covered, secure, predator proof outdoor chicken enclosure, that is of sufficient size to admit free movement of the chickens; and

B. A covered, predator-proof chicken house that is thoroughly ventilated, of sufficient size to admit free movement of the chickens, and designed and built to be easily accessed, cleaned and maintained by the licensed chicken keeper. The chicken house must be adjacent to and provide unrestricted access to the outdoor secure enclosure.

6.12.070 Distance requirement

A chicken coop, including the chicken house and secure enclosure, shall be located no less than 30 feet from any dwelling occupied by a person or persons other than the party licensed to keep the chickens, as measured from the exterior wall of the chicken coop to the closest exterior wall of the adjacent dwelling. In no case shall the chicken coop be located closer than 15 feet to any property line as measured from the nearest exterior wall of the chicken coop to such property line.

6.12.080 Chickens at large

A. Chickens shall be kept within the chicken coop on the property of the licensed chicken keeper from sunset to sunrise.

B. Chickens shall be contained within the boundaries of the licensee’s property at all times.

6.12.090 Supply of feed and water

A. Chickens shall have continuous access to adequate feed and water.

B. Stored feed must be kept in a rodent and predator-proof container.

6.12.100 Sanitation

Chicken coops must be kept in a neat and sanitary condition at all times, and must be cleaned on a regular basis so as to prevent offensive odors and/or the spread of disease.

 6.12.110 Penalties and Violations

A. Any violation of this chapter shall be punishable pursuant to Section 1.4.070 of this Code. No jail sentence shall be imposed.

B. In addition to any penalties specified in this Chapter, the Court in its discretion may Order any of the following conditions;

1. The Court may order relinquishment of a chicken(s) deemed to be a public safety risk and/or a repetitive nuisance that has not been abated or a chicken(s) that is a victim of cruelty, neglect or abandonment to the Animal Shelter for disposition.

2. Upon finding of chicken cruelty or neglect (including provoking, poisoning, abandonment of a chicken), the court may order no chicken ownership for a determinate period.

3. Violations of this Chapter may result in immediate impoundment of the chicken(s).

4. Violation of any provision of this chapter may result in revocation of any license(s).

5. A person found guilty of a violation of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $500


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