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Chickens, Ducks, and Rabbits Zoning Project

This project began in January 2013 and finished in July 2013

Franklin County planners and a range of stakeholders drafted an amendment to the Franklin County Zoning Resolution to ease restrictions on raising chickens, ducks and rabbits for personal use.

Raising chickens, ducks, and rabbits is considered an agricultural use and was prohibited on lots smaller than 1 acre and severely limited on lots between 1 and 5 acres. This amendment allows residents to raise chickens, ducks and rabbits on these smaller lots while following reasonable development standards. These standards will help to avoid problems that may otherwise be associated with raising chickens, ducks and rabbits in populated areas.

Benefits of keeping chickens, ducks and rabbits

Raising backyard chickens, ducks and rabbits can contribute to Franklin County’s food security. Increasing access to fresh, local food products benefits citizens of Franklin County by promoting a healthy, sustainable local food network.

Additional benefits include:

  • Providing nutritious food at affordable costs - Raising backyard chickens, ducks and rabbits allows residents of all ages and incomes to access fresh food that they can raise themselves. This is especially beneficial in areas with limited grocery store access.
  • Promoting healthy living - Raising backyard chickens, ducks and rabbits provides physical, emotional and mental health benefits to residents.
  • Sustainable land use - Raising backyard chickens, ducks and rabbits is a productive and sustainable use of land


In drafting the regulation, we sought input from a range of stakeholders including:

Ohio Department of Agriculture
Ohio Farm Bureau
Ohio Poultry Association
Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association
Ohio State University Extension Office
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio
Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District
Franklin County Public Health
Franklin County Sanitary Engineers

Township Boards of Trustees
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission
Franklin County Local Food Council
Local Matters
Local producers

Final approval

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners approved the Chickens, Ducks and Rabbits Zoning Regulation on July 9, 2013. The commissioners' final action followed approvals by the Franklin County Planning Commission and the Franklin County Rural Zoning Commission.

The regulation took effect on August 8, 2013.

Chickens, Ducks and Rabbits regulation adopted 7/9/2013

Additional resources

Chickens, Duck and Rabbits Certificate of Zoning Compliance
Chicken Keeping QuickFacts
Composting Guide


John O'Grady President
Paula Brooks
Marilyn Brown