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Backyard chicken keeping will soon require a permit: What Orange County residents need to know

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The Ordinance goes into effect on November 1, 2021

From the Orange County Newsroom

The Board of County Commissioners passed a Residential Backyard Chicken Keeping Ordinance earlier in August to make a permit available to residents who are interested in egg production for home consumption. The Ordinance goes into effect on November 1, 2021, and applies to select single-family and mobile home residential zoning districts – detached, owner-occupied units. Participation in the program requires a $57 permit, site plan requirements and proof of training. There are only a total of 130 permits available for unincorporated Orange County, which will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

Criteria for having residential backyard chickens

The basic criteria laid out in the Ordinance include:

permit required;

up to four (4) chickens for personal egg consumption;

no sales of any kind allowed;

no roosters or other poultry allowed;

no onsite breeding, slaughtering or consumption of chickens;

proof of training required from UF/IFAS Extension Orange County;

coop and pen standards required; and

care and keeping standards required.

Other 'standards and requirements' of the Ordinance include:

access to food and water at all times;

feed kept in rodent- and wildlife-proof feeder and container when stored;

composting allowed with 20 ft. setback;

chickens kept under custody and control of resident if outside pen area;

unwanted chickens must go to a farm or agribusiness accepting chickens;

follow FL Statute 823.041 and Florida Administrative Code Section 62-701.520(5)(a) and (c), for deceased chickens;

and, if Ordinance repealed, 10-year allowance for permittees to remove chickens, coop and pen area.

The Ordinance allows for chickens in owner-occupied detached Single-Family Residential and Mobile Home districts, including R-1AAAA, R-1AAA, R-1AA, R-1A, R-1, R-2, R-3, RT-1, RT-2, R-L-D, NR, NAC and NC. You can go to the Property Appraiser’s Website to see the zoning for your parcel. At this time, no renters are permitted to have backyard chickens.

The Ordinance does not override private covenants and restrictions, such as within HOA's or PD's. You must comply with the private covenants and restrictions of HOAs and Planned Developments.

Training on keeping backyard chickens

There is a UF/IFAS Extension training class available that is an overview of the basics of keeping backyard chickens. It is offered online as a virtual session. UF/IFAS is the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, which offers this class, as well as many others. You can register at Urban Backyard Chicken Class Pre-Test.

Training is required, along with proof of completed training - such as a certificate - to be eligible for a permit. You will need to upload proof of training as part of the application for the permit.

If you are interested in applying for a permit, Orange County encourages you to check back for details on their landing page as November 1, 2021 gets closer. They plan to have further details at that time.

For more information on the Ordinance, and to view the meeting, see below:

Ordinance 2021-34 (PDF)

August 10, 2021 BCC Meeting Video

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