Urban Chickens, Bees, & Raising Other Animals

On March 25, 2024, the Carlisle City Council unanimously passed an ordinance allowing chickens, pigeons, and quail to be raised within city limits under certain restrictions. It also allows for the raising of bees with no restrictions. That ordinance, which can be seen below in full, will go into effect on April 4, 2024 after it is published. 

All homeowners interested in keeping chickens should review their neighborhood covenants, if they have any, prior to getting chickens. A city ordinance does not have more authority than rules set by a homeowner’s association. If the neighborhood covenants say no chickens/livestock are allowed in the development, the resident must follow those rules.

General Guidelines For Keeping Chickens

  • Up to 6 hens (females) are allowed. No roosters (males) are allowed.
  • The coop/confinement where the animals are housed must be at least 25 feet from neighboring residences
  • The coop/confinement where the animals are housed cannot be in a front yard; on corner lots, both building faces adjacent to streets are considered front yards
  • Loose animals should remain on your property and should not be in the front yard
  • The area where the animals are housed must be kept free of odors, pests, and excess noise
  • Food must be kept in a rodent-proof container
  • They cannot be kept in a dwelling

There are no requirements for permitting or education in the ordinance.

Pigeons or quail may be kept under the same set of requirements as chickens. 

Below are are several sources of information regarding keeping chickens.

Iowa State Extension

Iowa State Extension Online Course 

General Guidelines For Keeping Bees

With the passage of the ordinance, residents are explicitly allowed to keep bees. Before the passage of the ordinance, the housing of bees was entirely unregulated. 

Although there are no requirements for keeping or raising bees, we recommend registering your hive with the State of Iowa at beecheck.org

Additionally, there are several good sources of information regarding beekeeping by using the following links.

Warren County Extention Office

Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

Central Iowa Backyard Beekeepers

Des Moines Backyard Beekeepers

Specific Questions About The Rules?

Livestock like pigs, cows, horses, etc. cannot be raised within Carlisle city limits. Specific exceptions for established practices may be reviewed by Council upon request. 

Do you have more questions about the rules? Send your question to cityhall@carlisleiowa.org or call 515-989-3224. 


PDF icon Ordinance 797 - Allowing Chickens161.34 KB