Backyard Hens | The City of Lakewood, Ohio

Backyard Hens

2022 Update: Hen permits are now issued for a three-year period instead of needing to be renewed every year.

An organization called Hens in Lakewood got the ball rolling in 2011. The group hosted meetings, tours and workshops to educate residents and city council.

Advocates say there are plenty of benefits.

Less than a century ago, when more people raised their own food, keeping a few chickens in the yard was common in cities, and plenty of city ordinances still allow the practice. Raising chickens ensures you know where your eggs come from, and collecting eggs fulfills an instinct to provide our own food, advocates say.

Chickens also make great garden and recycling assistants. They provide fertilizer, eat pests, and help dig over your vegetable patch at the end of the season. Chickens eat biodegradable kitchen garbage like rusted lettuce, tomato tops and corn husks.

After one year as a pilot project, an ordinance allowing backyard hen-raising was approved by Lakewood City Council in May 2016.

Link to ordinance.                        

“City Chickens” One Lakewood hen owners experience, LASWAB Article

  • Henkeeping Permit Application+-

    2022 Update: Hen permits are now issued for a three-year period instead of needing to be renewed every year.

    Click here to apply for a henkeeping permit.

    Questions about the application process may be directed to Captain Gary Stone at 216-529-6751.

    Henkeeping Permit Application Checklist:
    1. Application &  $25 Permit Fee
    2. Backyard Hen Training Certificate from OSU Extension or Cleveland Metro Parks
    3. Specifications for intended coop with simple diagram showing coop placement in relation to property lines and other structures on the property**
    4. Specifications for intended hen run/enclosure with simple diagram showing placement in relation to property lines and other structures**
    5. If you are a renter, written approval from your Landlord to have backyard hens on the rental property where hens are to be kept.
    ** Please make sure to review the Henkeeping Ordinance No. 23-16 for all requirements, including specifications about hen coop placement, design, height and size restrictions etc.
  • Safe hen raising+-

    Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 3.26.27 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-29 at 3.28.26 PM Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 3.26.46 PM

  • Thinking about keeping hens?+-

    An increasing number of people around the country are choosing to keep backyard hens. Along with the benefits, it is important to consider the risk of illness, especially for children, which can result from handling live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. In recent years, several human Salmonella outbreaks associated with live poultry contact have been reported to the CDC.

    It’s common for chickens, ducks, and other poultry to carry Salmonella, which is a type of germ that naturally lives in the intestines of many animals and is shed in their droppings or feces. Live poultry may have Salmonella germs in their droppings and on their bodies (including feathers, feet, and beaks) even when they appear healthy and clean. The germs can also get on cages, coops, hay, plants, and soil in the area where the birds live and roam. Additionally, the germs can be found on the hands, shoes, and clothing of those who handle the birds or work or play where they live and roam. How do I reduce the risk of Salmonella infection from live poultry?

    • Do not let children younger than 5 years of age handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry without supervision.
    • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Avoid touching your mouth before washing your hands.  Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
    • Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
    • Wash hands after removing soiled clothes and shoes.
    • Do not eat or drink in the area where the birds live or roam.
    • Do not let live poultry inside the house or in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens, pantries, or outdoor patios.
    • If you have free-roaming live poultry, assume that where they live and roam is contaminated.
    • Clean equipment and materials associated with raising or caring for live poultry, such as cages, feed containers, and water containers, outside the house, not inside.

    For more information, visit CDC’s Risk of Human Salmonella Infections from Live Baby Poultry  feature and the Healthy Pets Healthy People web site.

    Also, refer to the Lakewood ordinance on the matter.

    Want to connect with like-minded Lakewood Hen Keepers? Visit the Hens in Lakewood Facebook page


  • Training and workshops+-

    Currently approved Back Yard Hen Keeping Training providers:

    On-line Hen or Poultry Training Courses:
    The city now allows for hen raising training from on-line training programs. You must be able to provide a certificate from the organization providing the training that confirms your completed the course.

    Below is a link to an on-line training program that has been approved for use:
    University of Arkansas, System Division of Agriculture
    Backyard Poultry Online Course Series

    Should you have questions about whether or not other Hen Keeping Education Programs would be accepted for the Educational Requirement listed in Lakewood Ordinance No. 23-16, please contact the Animal Control at 216-529-5020.

  • Photos of backyard coops+-

    Roketenetz Hen House 1 Webber Hen House (2) Stark Hen House 1 Thorrat Hen House 001 Neal Hen House 001 McSwain Hen House1 Keith Hen House 2 Hilow Hen House 1 Germaine Hen House 003 Dregalla Hen House 2 Burgoyne Hen House 1

  • Hen Hatcheries+-

    What to be aware of when selecting a hatchery

    • Buy birds from hatcheries that participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Poultry Improvement Plan (USDA-NPIP) U.S. voluntary Salmonella Monitoring Program[279 KB]. This program is intended to reduce the incidence of Salmonella in baby poultry in the hatchery.