Chickens, Bees, Goats, and more!

Keeping livestock – such as chickens, bees, and goats – is allowed in most residential areas in Austin. These animals offer many benefits for your home that include reducing food and yard waste, providing organic eggs or honey, minimizing backyard insects and pests, and producing fertilizer for your garden.

While there are many benefits to keeping livestock, there are certain restrictions you need to be aware of. The Austin City Code has limits on how many animals may be kept on a property, as well as where enclosures must be located.  Below are some general guidelines to help you understand Austin’s rules and regulations.

General Guidelines

  • Animals are not allowed to roam freely outside the owner’s property.
  • Livestock cannot make excessive noise and must be kept clean and healthy with adequate shelter.
  • Slaughtering, processing, and composting of livestock is not allowed in residential areas.
Green bee

Bees

Beehives should not be located within ten feet of your property line. The number of colonies you are allowed to keep is determined by your property’s acreage.
 
Depending on the location of your beehives, you may need to build a flyaway barrier, such as a wall, fence, or dense vegetation.
 
The City encourages the relocation of hives instead of destruction whenever possible. Visit the Texas Apiary Inspection Services for a list of registered beekeepers who can help.
 
Orange chicken

Chickens

Austinites can earn a $75 rebate on a chicken coop through the City of Austin Home Composting Rebate Program. To qualify, attend a free chicken keeping class.
 
Enclosures for two or more chickens should be at least 50 feet from adjacent residences or businesses, excluding your home.
 
Blue pig

Livestock

(Horses, cows, pigs, sheeps, and goats)
 
Enclosures for one or two miniature livestock weighing less than 200 pounds need to be at least 10 feet from adjacent residences or businesses, excluding your home.
 
Enclosures for larger livestock, or for more than two animals should be at least 100 feet from adjoining residentially zoned property and at least 50 feet from residential structures.
 
Pink rabbit

Small Animals

(Rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs, etc.)
 
Enclosures for two to 10 small animals must be at least 20 feet from adjacent residences or businesses, excluding your home.
 
For 10 or more small animals, enclosures should be at least 50 feet from adjacent residences or businesses.
 

 

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See Title 3 – Animal regulation of the City of Austin Codes and Ordinances for complete information.

Have questions? Contact us!