Bill No. 113-21 Backyard Chickens

Bill 113-21 went into effect on February 1, 2022. We thought we would help break down the legislation and what it means for you.

How many chickens am I allowed to keep under an acre of land?
Chickens must be kept on lots that are single family detached homes and owner occupied

  • 10,000 sq ft = 4 hens
  • 20,000 sq ft = 6 hens
  • 30,000 sq ft = 8 hens
  • 40,000 sq ft = 10 hens

Do I need to register my chickens?
All flocks must be registered with the Maryland Department of Agriculture. In addition, owners must apply for a license with Baltimore County. Application should include a site plan for a coop and run as well as a description of all fences and lot boundaries. Forms can be found here.

How much does a license cost? 
The license costs $100 for a three year time period .

Are there certain regulations regarding where I can place the coop and run?
According to legislation, coops must be located in the rear yard or non-street facing half of the rear yard if on a corner lot. They should also be fully fenced in the run or the free range area. For specifics on your individual lot, check with permits office. 

Coops must be set back at least 10 feet from all lot lines and 25 feet from a neighboring dwelling. 

How can I be a responsible chicken keeper?
Legislation ensures for the responsible and proper keeping of all hens, including providing food/water, rodent proof feed storage and veterinary care. Coops and runs must also be kept clean, dry and well kept as well as predator proofed. Keep following along for additional educational resources to provide for your healthy flocks.