Coop license holder Karen Carney with her coop, licensed as Park Avenue Chickens

Backyard Hen Coop Permits

In 2013, the Champaign City Council passed an Ordinance allowing and regulating the keeping of backyard hens within the city limits.


  • A license must be issued to legally raise hens.
  • No roosters are allowed.
  • Up to six hens are allowed.
  • Chicken coops must be located in the backyard.
  • Only residents of single family and two-family homes are eligible for a coop license.
  • Chicken coops must have a minimum of four square feet per hen.  The run must have a minimum of eight square feet per hen and be covered on all sides, including the top.
  • Residents failing to comply with Sec. 7-19 – Hens, and all applicable sections of the Champaign Municipal Code, will be subject to enforcement action.


Residents must obtain a coop license to raise hens.  This license has a $25 fee.  The online map tool from the Champaign County GIS Consortium can be very helpful when completing the license application.  The last page of the application includes a worksheet that offers tips for using the map tool.

Applicants must also register their property with the Illinois Department of Agriculture  in order to obtain a coop license.  Registration with the Illinois Department of Agriculture is free.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I am interested in raising hens?

After reviewing reference resources, contact local hen owners via Facebook groups or seek additional information from the University of Illinois Extension Service.  Raising hens requires long-term commitment, yet many people find it rewarding.  Contact the Planning and Development Department at 217.403.8800 for additional questions.

Online Resources

If I have a noise or odor complaint regarding chickens, who do I call?

Call the City’s Code Compliance Division of the Neighborhood Services Department at 217-403-7070.

If I see a chicken crossing the road, who do I call?

Chickens are not allowed to be outside of an enclosure.  Call Champaign County Animal Control at 217-384-3798 or the 24-hour number at 217-333-8911.

What should I do if my neighbor has chickens, but I am unsure if they have a license?

Call the Planning and Development Department at 217-403-8800.

Other Questions? 

Please contact the Planning and Development Department at  217-403-8800 or [email protected].