Can You Keep Chickens in Your Backyard in Sarasota, Florida?

Sat, Oct 1, 2011

General Legal Issues

ChickensDue to the efforts of interested citizens, it is possible if you live in the city of Sarasota. SmithLaw did a little research to understand the ins and outs.

The city ordinance is No. 11-4955. It can be found in its entirety here. The ordinance starts with recognition of the local food movement and that citizens are looking for a greater sense of community. It goes on to specifically acknowledge the efforts of CLUCK (Citizens Lobbying for Urban Chicken Keeping), to make keeping chickens in the city legal.

There are still stringent rules for owning chickens. Some of these include:

  • The home keeping the chickens must be single-family
  • Only four chickens are allowed
  • No slaughtering allowed
  • No roosters allowed
  • Requirements for the coop structure must be strictly met

Make sure you read the entire ordinance before beginning your chicken-raising adventure to make sure you follow all the rules.

To educate those new to keeping chickens, the Sarasota County IFAS Extension is offering a class every quarter. It is called Chickens 101 and provides an overview of the basics of keeping chickens. It also contains an overview of the local laws. To find out about the next class, visit

For more information about keeping chickens in Sarasota, Florida, visit

Photo by chris.chronis

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