Keeping Chickens in Saint Paul
Things to Consider
Across the country, chicken-keeping is enjoying a renaissance in urban settings as community members raise chickens to provide locally-sourced eggs. The City of Saint Paul requires a permit to keep, handle, and raise chickens and other fowl. Listed below are resources to assist with making decisions about raising chickens or other fowl.
- My Pet Chicken provides information on chicken health, coops, raising chicks, and more.
- Chicken Run Rescue provides information on chicken health and maintenance.
- The Twins Cities Chickens webpage is a great way to connect with other chicken owners in the area.
- Backyard Chicken Basics are provided by the University of Minnesota Extension - Small Farms.
- The Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA) provides animal health resources and contact information for livestock specialists.
Hampden Park Co-op often provides extra egg cartons perfect for storing eggs. Call 651-646-6686 for more information.
- Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply offers classes on Backyard Chicken Basics.
- Permaculture Research Institute: Cold Climate provides classes on raising urban chickens through the Living Systems Series.
- For other questions about poultry production and workshops, click here.
Below are the legal requirements for site plan preparation, construction, and maintenance of a chicken coop/loft facilities. Navigate to the Keeping of Chickens and Other Fowl page for information on the application process to keep and raise chickens in St. Paul. The site plan must illustrate and/or provide details for the following:
- An illustration of the lot, showing the dimensions of the lot, the house, garage, driveway, and any other existing structures.
- The location and dimensions of coop/loft, including doorways providing access for cleaning purposes, run areas, and set backs from property lines and buildings.
- Type of materials used in the coop/loft. All building materials must be of a type approved for exterior exposure by the manufacturer.
- The height of the structure.
- The type and location of fencing or containment area.
- The number of chickens proposed.
Locating and Constructing a Coop/Loft
- The coop/loft must be located in the rear yard and must be five (5) feet away from interior property lines. No set back is required for the run area.
- *If the chicken coop or pigeon loft is proposed within a City designated historic district or site, approval is required from the Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC).
- The maximum height of the structure must be no more than 12 feet from the ground to the rooftop.
- One chicken is allowed for every 4 square feet of coop area; one pigeon is allowed for every one-fifth (1/5) square feet of loft area.
- If the proposed building is larger than 120 square feet, a building permit must be obtained by the property owner or a licensed contractor.
- If electricity is provided for heating or lighting, an electrical permit must be obtained by the property owner or a licensed contractor; no extension cord is allowed.
*NOTE: IN CASES WHERE A BUILDING OR ELECTRICAL PERMIT IS REQUIRED, IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PERMIT HOLDER TO SCHEDULE INSPECTIONS WITH THE RESPECTIVE CONSTRUCTION OR ELECTRICAL INSPECTOR. THE INSTALLATION GOVERNED UNDER THESE PERMITS MUST HAVE ALL FINAL INSPECTION APPROVALS BEFORE THE ANIMAL KEEPING PERMIT CAN BE ISSUED.
City Standards for Operating and Maintaining a Chicken Coop/Loft
- Feed must be stored in covered, rodent-proof containers. When feed is provided to the animal, it must be done in a manner that will not attract rodents.
- Birds must be tended to twice daily, assuring sufficient water, shelter (shade), and feed.
- Structures and grounds must be well-maintained and in a clean and sanitary condition.
- Coop, feeding, and lounging areas shall be cleaned of wet bedding and manure once per day.
- The "deep litter method" is not an acceptable method of coop sanitation and is not allowed.
- All animal waste (fecal matter, bedding, food, etc.) shall be properly stored and disposed of at least once a week.
- Composting feces or animal parts is not allowed. (Saint Paul Legislative Code, Sec. 357.08)
- Flies, rodents, and noxious odors must be controlled.
- Chickens must be confined to the property.