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  • Writer's pictureAnn Titus Team

Chicken Law, ya'll

When you stroll down Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach, you’ll immediately notice the lawless chickens that seem to run this little beach town. Well, regardless of how free these feathery friends may act, Volusia county does in fact have chicken ordinances. Not that these birds care to follow them…

The specifics will vary based on which zone you reside in. Read on to see what is allowed where you live.

(Wondering what your property is zoned as? Click this link to the Volusia County Property Appraiser’s map, select the layers option then the countywide zoning checkbox, and zoom in to find your neighborhood. Volusia County encompasses Ormond by the Sea in the north to Oak Hill to the south, southwest to Osteen and Debary to the northeast cities of Barberville and Pierson.)


According to Municode Sec. 72-307, backyard chickens are permitted in the R-1 through R-4, R-6, or MH-6 zonings. Volusia County defines these zonings as follows:

Urban Single-Family Residential (this classification is to provide low-density to medium density residential developments, preserving the character of existing or proposed residential neighborhoods):

  • R-1: Minimum 20,000 sq.ft. per lot; minimum 1,500 sq. ft. livable floor area.

  • R-2: Minimum 12,500 sq.ft. per lot; minimum 1,200 sq.ft. livable floor area.

  • R-3: Minimum 10,000 sq.ft. per lot; minimum 1,000 sq.ft. livable floor area.

  • R-4: Minimum 7,500 sq. ft. per lot; minimum 850 sq. ft. livable floor area.

Urban Two-Family Residential (This classification is to provide for a mixture of one and two unit dwellings where that mixture of land use exists or is proposed):

  • R-6: Minimum 11,000 sq. ft. per lot; minimum 600 sq. ft. livable floor area.

Urban Mobile Home (This classification is to provide for low to medium density areas for mobile home subdivisions):

  • MH-6: Minimum 10,000 sq. ft. per lot; minimum 720 sq. ft. livable floor area.


Now that we’ve defined which Volusia County zones are allowed to have backyard chickens, let’s break down the law:

The term chicken only refers to hens. To read the municipal code in its entirety use the link above. Permit(s) are required.

  1. The number of chickens shall be limited to no more than 5. No other poultry allowed (ducks, geeze, roosters, etc.).

  2. Chickens shall be kept in an enclosed area with a coop that provides for the free movement of chickens, and are not permitted to be free range. Chickens shall at all times be provided receptacles kept constantly filled with clean water.

  3. No manure may be allowed to accumulate on the floor of the coop or ground. Permit holders must implement a manure management program.

  4. The minimum lot size shall be one-third of an acre.

  5. The coop shall be located between the rear lot line and adhere to setback requirements.

  6. The coop may not be taller than eight feet and may not exceed a maximum of 150 square feet.

  7. If the coop structure exceeds 120 square feet in size, a building permit is required under the Florida Building Code.

  8. The coop and enclosure shall be screened from view from adjoining properties or the street.

  9. Chickens shall be kept for personal use only. Selling chickens, eggs, or chicken manure, or the breeding of chickens for commercial purposes is prohibited.

  10. The chickens must be sheltered or confined in such fashion as to prevent them from coming into contact with wild ducks or geese or their excrement.

  11. Chickens may not be slaughtered by or at the direction of the owner or keeper thereof except pursuant to the lawful order of state or county health officials. Deceased chickens must be properly disposed of within 24 hours of expiring.

If these restrictions haven’t scared you off from getting your own egg-layers, check out this article from the county that includes information on how to raise backyard chickens and urban chicken classes.

Stefanie Santiago, Broker / Owner

Setting the New Standard

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