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Friday, January 18, 2013

Backyard Poultry in Pinellas County

Mary Campbell,
Extension Director and Urban Sustainability Agent

If you are considering keeping chickens in your backyard, there are specific requirements based on the community you live in. Please refer to the local ordinances for your municipality or unincorporated Pinellas County for more information. Homeowner Associations may also have specific requirements that override local ordinances.

Municipalities that Allow Chickens
City Chickens Other
Restrictions Limit Noise
Bellair Yes Yes May not be raised for commercial purposes. Coops must be kept clean. Permit required. 5 domes-
tic animals
Dunedin Yes Yes Fowl must be kept within an enclosure, apply to city codes and regulations, and not constitute a nuisance. Yes
Gulfport Yes No Chickens must be contained in the backyard and all coops must be kept clean.
No roosters.
10 hens
Largo Yes Yes Fowl must be securely fenced and coops and runways must be kept clean. Yes
St. Petersburg Yes Yes
Fowl must be securely fenced and coops and runways must be kept clean.
Not within 100 ft of neighbors without their approval.

Summary of Pinellas County Ordinance for Unincorporated Areas 

  1. Fowl may not be raised for commercial purposes; fowl may not be slaughtered. 
  2. Up to 4 hens may be kept; no roosters. 
  3. Must not create a nuisance of noise, odor, pests, or any other nuisance condition. 
  4. Fowl must be securely fenced and the coop must be covered and ventilated. The coop must be completely secured from predators. 
  5. Chickens must be kept in the backyard. 
  6. Coops and runways must be kept clean. 
  7. Chicken enclosure must be kept a minimum of 10 feet from neighbor’s property and not be taller than 6 feet. 
  8. The chicken enclosure must be screened from neighbor’s view, using an opaque fence and/or landscape screen 
  9. If coop exceeds 100 square feet in size, a building permit must be acquired. 
  10. A minimum of 3 square feet is required per hen. 
  11. All stored feed must be kept in a rodent and predator-proof container. 

Chicken FAQs 
Here are some common questions that Pinellas County Extension has received from citizens who are interested in keeping chickens.

  • What types of breeds are recommended for backyard poultry? Buff Orpington, Rhode Island Red, Ameraucana, White Leghorn, Australorp, and Barred Rock. 
  • How long do chickens live? Chickens live an average of 7 years although they can live 10 years or more. 
  • What temperature do chickens need to survive? Chickens thrive in ranges between 70-75 °F, and may die in temperatures exceeding 95 °F. Hens lay eggs the best in temperature ranges between 45-80 °F. 
  • How much space do chickens need? Chickens need about 2 square feet per hen for Bantam breeds, and 3 square feet for other birds. 
  • Should I use chicken wire to enclose the chickens? Chicken wire can be used to enclose a run, but the open weave allows predators to reach through the openings. Rigid hardware cloth is recommended for sleeping or resting areas. 
  • How much food and water do chickens need? Chickens drink about 1 to 2 cups of water each day. Layers drink twice as much as non-layers. Lightweight layers need about 4 to 4½ ounces of feed per hen per day, or about 4 pounds of feed for every dozen eggs laid. 

If you are interested in backyard poultry, please click here to join Extension for a new workshop on Urban Agriculture: Small to Large on February 9th for Chickens 101 – morning session.  

UF Basic Guide for the Backyard Chicken Flock: 
Backyard Chickens: 
Build A Chicken Coop Easy:
4 H Virtual Farm: Poultry : 
The City 
City Chicks (chicken source) 727-546-3478 located in Pinellas Park


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