Sarah’s Guide to Backyard Chicken Regulations in the Kansas City Area

Pretty Chickens and Farm-Fresh Eggs

My Best Friend’s Son Tends to His Chicken Coop

I am an egg snob. I eat fresh farm-raised eggs because I like the way they look and taste, and the thought of conventional egg production gives me the willies. Though they are more expensive, I reason that the cost per egg is still very low, and I remind myself how much enjoyment each egg provides me. As urban farming is gaining in popularity, I have been starting to think that even I could have a backyard coop, which led me to this blog entry. Where are chickens allowed? What regulations go along with keeping chickens? How many chickens can I have? Below are charts displaying city municipal code relating to keeping fowl on residential property on both sides of the state line. I have included many of our biggest metro towns in the table, summarizing their chicken ordinances. Missouri is the clear winner; looks like you’ll have to go to Strouds if you want chicken in Kansas.

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Chickens Allowed Number Allowed Details in Brief
Prairie Village No
Fairway No
Leawood No
Overland Park No* *Fowl are permitted on a rural lot over three acres in size.
Roeland Park Yes 6 Must apply to the City first, and there is an application fee of $100, then an annual renewal fee of $75.
Mission No
Merriam Yes The only rule governing fowl is the Nuisance Prohibited code. It basically says that any animal owned or harbored at a residence can’t disturb neighbors by either annoyance of smell, noise, running loose onto another’s property, threatening the public, attacking other domestic animals or people, damaging public property or otherwise endangering the health of the citizens.
Olathe Maybe Chickens allowed only in Rural Residential areas, not typical tract subdivisions. In rural residential areas, you can have chickens if your lot is three (3) acres or more, otherwise you have to apply for a special use permit.
Shawnee Yes No more than 10 may be kept with special animal permit. Poultry house must be 100 ft from property line.
Lenexa Yes Depends on Property Size: If less than 1 acre, 0 chickens. If 1-3 acres, 4 chickens per acre allowed. Total number not to exceed 12 chickens. Must be 100 feet from nearest neighbor’s dwelling, 100 feet from front lot line, and 25 feet from side and rear lot lines.
Kansas City, Kansas No Chickens are only allowed on agriculturally zoned land; residents may apply to the director of animal control for a special permit.
Desoto, Kansas Yes Fowl may be kept on any tract of land in the City that is at least one acre in size. Twelve fowl per acre are allowed up to a maximum of 25 fowl. No more than one rooster may be kept per lot or household. Fowl must be kept in a confined area and not allowed to range freely. Such confined space must be setback at least twenty-five (25’) feet from the property line in a rear yard. No fowl may be kept inside a residence.
Mission Hills No


Chickens Allowed Number Allowed Details in Brief
Kansas City, MO Yes 15 Enclosure required, coop must be 100ft from nearest neighbor’s dwelling, no foul odors or loud roosters, and must be kept clean and sanitary. *Vote on July 14, 2011 to allow exemption of distance allowance with neighbor’s approval.
Independence Yes 20 up to 6 chickens must be 50 feet from neighbor dwelling, 7-20 chickens must be 100 feet away from neighbor dwelling, and over 20 chickens must be 200 feet away from a neighbor dwelling. No foul odors, and must be kept clean and sanitary.
Raytown Yes 4 Must be 100 feet from nearest neighbor’s dwelling, and must be kept clean and odor free.
Parkville Yes 15 Must be at least 500 feet from the nearest neighbor’s dwelling, and must be kept clean and sanitary
Belton Yes 4 No more than 4 per acre or part of an acre.
Grandview Yes 2 No more than 2 per lot in residentially zoned areas, must be at least 20 feet from neighbor’s dwelling, must be kept in an enclosure, and must be kept clean and sanitary.
Blue Springs No
Lee’s Summit Yes 4 No more than 4, hens only – no roosters, henhouse must be 10 ft from property line and 40 ft from nearest adjacent building/dwelling, must be kept clean and free of noise or odors, they must be in enclosed/fenced area, etc….
Liberty No

This turns out to be a timely topic, as the Roeland Park City Council is meeting tonight to discuss the keeping of chickens in their city. Chickens are currently not prohibited on residential property in Roeland Park, but perhaps we are seeing the signs of a sea change in Johnson County.