Ordinance Text

Proposed Ordinance to Allow the Keeping of Hens within Pierre City Limits

(Italicized text is an addition to the current ordinance)

The following changes to the City of Pierre municipal code to permit a small backyard flock of no more than six hens within the city limits of Pierre on non-agricultural land.

  1. Revise Chapter 8

Section 8-2-114.  Unlawful to keep animals or fowl within the city.

No person shall place, keep or maintain any live swine, horses, cows, goats, sheep, llamas, prairie dogs, primates, snakes, ducks, geese, chickens or other domestic fowl except Gallus gallus domesticus(domestic chickens) pursuant to Chapter 10 Article 3 Section X and except on property zoned agriculture, and in accordance with the conditions of Chapter 12, Article 4, Agricultural District, or any wild mammal, reptile or fowl which is not naturally tame or gentle, but is of a wild nature or disposition, and which because of its size, vicious nature or other characteristics would constitute a danger to human life or property if it escaped from secure quarters, within the limits of the city.

Source:  R.O. Pierre, 1957, 9.0902; Ord. No. 655, 1957; Rev. of Ord., 1990; Ord. 1357, 1994; Ord. 1376, 1996; Ord. 1378, 1996.

2.   Revise Chapter 10 Article 3 to include

(a) The keeping of hens on any private land in the city shall not be on a scale that creates a nuisance as defined in Section 8-2-101.

.(b) Regarding keeping domestic fowl of the order Galliformes in the genus of Gallus (chickens):

  • (1) Hens may be kept on occupied residential zoning lots as defined in Section 12-1-101 Definitions.( Para. 92) within city limits.
  • (2) A maximum of six females of Gallus gallus domesticus (domestic hens) may be kept per lot. If a single lot has multiple residences, the maximum of six hens per lot still applies.
  • (3) Roosters are prohibited.
  • (4) Hens shall be provided a coop that is of sufficient size and construction to protect them from predators. 
  • (5) Hens must remain on their owner’s property or on  occupied residential property with the permission of the property owner. Hens must be appropriately caged when off of licensed private property.
  • (6) Coops shall be set back from the property line in accordance with the setbacks defined for accessory buildings in Section 13-2-111
  • (7) The occupant of the residence where hens are kept must obtain a license from the city within 30 days of procuring hens. The fee for such license  initially will be set at $15 and shall be determined thereafter by the city annually in accordance with the standard fee schedule.  This license shall be valid as long as the resident is in compliance with the provisions of the ordinance.
  • (8) The city may revoke the license to keep hens of any resident found to be in violation of these provisions or any other ordinance violated as a result of keeping hens. Such a resident may reapply for a license after three months.


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