Chicken Keeping Registration

The City of Ithaca allows for the keeping of chickens under the following conditions:

  • Residents can keep up to 6 female chickens on a lot with a square footage of more than 2,000 square foot.
  • The property is required to have the following “Property Class Code” in order to keep chickens in the City of Ithaca: 210, 215, 220, 240, 250, or substantially identical successor designations. Information as to your property class code may be obtained by contacting the Tompkins County Assessment Office at 607-274-5517 or by visiting their website at http://www.tompkinscountyny.gov/assessment and choosing the option for “Image Mate Online”.
  • Chicken owners must attend a Chicken Keeping Seminar provided by the Cornell Cooperative Extension and provide proof of attendance as part of the registration process.
  • There is a one-time Chicken Keeping Registration fee of $35.  The Registration will remain valid for the duration of time that the chickens are kept.  As a courtesy, the City requests that residents notify the City Clerk’s Office if they are no longer keeping chickens.  The Cornell Cooperative Extension can assist in re-homing chickens if necessary.
  • Three or more complaints about a property relating to the care and management of chickens can result in a revocation of the registration, as determined by the City Clerk, in consultation with Cornell Cooperative Extension staff and the Ithaca Police Department. Violations of the City’s chicken keeping legislation constitutes a civil offense enforceable by the Ithaca Police Department.
  • Questions general chicken keeping and management will be directed to the Cornell Cooperative Extension.
  • All of the requirements relating to the keeping of chickens can be found in Article IV of Chapter 164 of the City of Ithaca Municipal Code entitled “Backyard Chickens” 

The Chicken Registration Form can be found here.  Please be sure to upload the required chicken keeping seminar certificate.  Once the registration and requirements have been verified, a member of the City Clerk’s office will contact you for a credit card payment.  Payment can also be made via check made payable to the "City of Ithaca" and placed in the drop box near the entrance to City Hall, or mailed to the City Clerk’s Office, 108 E. Green Street, Ithaca, NY 14850.