Indiana Chicken Laws
As backyard chickens become increasingly popular, many states have developed specific laws and regulations to govern their care and keeping. Indiana is no exception. The state’s laws and regulations related to keeping backyard chickens can be confusing, but don’t worry – I’m here to help.
In this article, I will provide a basic summary of Indiana’s chicken laws and regulations, including zoning, the number of chickens allowed per property, coops and runs, slaughtering, health, waste, and permitting. I will also discuss Indiana’s poultry entry requirements, record-keeping requirements, exhibition requirements, and recommended practices for protecting avian health. So let’s get started!
If you’re planning to keep backyard chickens, it’s important to first review the regulations set by your local government to ensure that there are no restrictions. While backyard chickens are typically allowed in Indiana, there may be certain zoning rules that apply to your area. It’s important to carefully review these rules before bringing home any chickens to ensure that you are in compliance with local regulations. By doing so, you can avoid any potential legal issues and keep your backyard flock happy and healthy.
Number of Chickens
The number of chickens that can be kept on a property in Indiana depends on the city and county regulations. For instance, in Indianapolis, a maximum of 12 hens can be kept on a property, whereas in Bloomington, up to six chickens are allowed on lots that measure at least 8,000 square feet. It’s crucial to verify with your local authorities to ascertain the specific rules regarding the number of chickens allowed in your locality.
In Indiana, roosters are generally allowed to be kept in backyard flocks. However, it’s worth noting that some municipalities may have specific regulations or noise restrictions in place that prohibit the keeping of roosters. It’s important to check with your local government to determine whether roosters are allowed in your area, and if there are any specific guidelines you need to follow. Additionally, it’s worth considering the potential noise levels that roosters can produce, as they are known to crow frequently and loudly, which may not be suitable for some residential neighborhoods.
Coops and Runs
To ensure the safety and well-being of your backyard chickens, it’s crucial to provide them with a sturdy and secure coop and run. Your coop and run should be designed to be predator-proof, preventing unwanted visitors such as raccoons, foxes, and other predators from getting to your chickens. The coop and run should also be well-ventilated to provide fresh air and prevent the buildup of harmful gases.
Maintaining a clean coop and run is important to prevent the spread of disease and pest infestations. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of the coop and run, as well as providing fresh bedding for your chickens, can help to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.
It’s also essential to ensure that your coop and run provide enough space for your chickens. Overcrowding can lead to stress, aggressive behavior, and the spread of disease. The general rule of thumb is to provide at least four square feet of coop space per chicken and ten square feet of run space per chicken.
In Indiana, it is legal to slaughter chickens on your own property, but it’s important to be aware of any regulations that may apply. Local governments may have specific rules regarding the disposal of waste and the methods used for slaughtering. Before proceeding with any slaughtering activities, it’s crucial to check with your local government to ensure you’re in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, it’s important to follow proper safety and hygiene protocols to ensure the health and safety of yourself and others who may come into contact with the slaughtered chickens or waste materials.
Keeping your chickens in good health is important in Indiana. It is necessary to regularly check on the well-being of your flock, which includes providing them with a clean and healthy living environment, proper nutrition, and clean water. Additionally, it is recommended that you take your chickens for regular veterinary check-ups to prevent and treat any potential diseases. If you suspect any illness or disease in your chickens, you should contact a veterinarian immediately. It is important to note that sick chickens can pose a risk to both other chickens and humans, so proper care and attention to their health is essential.
To ensure a clean and healthy environment, proper disposal of chicken waste is necessary in Indiana. This can include composting, which not only reduces waste but also creates nutrient-rich soil for your garden. It’s important to avoid allowing waste to accumulate in areas where it can attract pests and cause unpleasant odors. Additionally, some municipalities may have specific regulations regarding the disposal of chicken waste, so it’s important to check with your local government.
It’s important to note that regulations regarding permits for keeping backyard chickens vary across municipalities in Indiana. While some areas may require permits, others may not. Thus, it’s crucial to check with your local government to determine whether a permit is needed before starting your flock.
It’s also important to keep in mind that regulations and laws may change over time, so it’s recommended to stay informed and up-to-date with any new regulations or amendments that may affect backyard chicken-keeping in your area. This will help ensure that you are keeping your flock in compliance with local laws and regulations.
Poultry Entry Requirements
If you plan to transport poultry or hatching eggs into Indiana from within a highly pathogenic avian influenza control zone, you must obtain a permit from the State Veterinarian in the state-of-origin and meet additional requirements. For more information on these requirements, click here.
Indiana’s laws regarding the movement and testing of poultry and hatching eggs can be found in 345 IAC 1-3-24 and 345 IAC 4. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the Indiana State Board of Animal Health at (317) 544-2400 or toll-free at (877) 747-3038.
In Indiana, the term “poultry” refers to domesticated fowl, including chickens, turkeys, ostriches, emus, rheas, cassowaries, waterfowl (such as ducks and geese), and game birds (such as pheasants, partridge, quail, grouse, and guineas). Doves and pigeons are not included in this definition.
If you are transporting poultry or hatching eggs into Indiana, you must provide one of the following documents:
- An official certificate of veterinary inspection completed by a licensed and accredited veterinarian within the thirty (30) days immediately prior to the animal entering Indiana.
- If the poultry or hatching eggs are from a flock participating in the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), they can move with the appropriate NPIP inspection/testing/participation certificate or records.
However, the following animals are exempt from this documentation requirement:
- Animals moved directly to an approved slaughtering or rendering establishment.
- Animals traveling to a facility for veterinary treatment that will return to the state-of-origin.
- Animals traveling through the state without being unloaded.
In addition, prior to entering Indiana, poultry and hatching eggs must meet one of the following requirements:
- The flock or hatchery of origin is participating in the National Poultry Improvement Plan for the eradication of pullorum-typhoid and Mycoplasma gallisepticum in turkeys.
- Each of the birds has tested negative for pullorum-typhoid within the thirty (30) days immediately prior to entering Indiana. Turkeys must also test negative for Mycoplasma gallisepticum within the thirty (30) days immediately prior to entering Indiana.
If you plan to enter your poultry in a livestock exhibition in Indiana, please review the additional requirements outlined in the relevant regulations.
Premises registration of poultry
In Indiana, premises registration for poultry sites is encouraged, but not required. This voluntary program is designed to help officials quickly locate flocks in the event of an outbreak of avian disease, such as the highly pathogenic avian influenza that affected more than 200 farms with 48 million birds in 2015.
Poultry owners who participate in the premises registration program will have their information recorded in a database maintained by the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. The information collected includes the name and contact information of the owner or manager of the premises, the location of the premises, the type and number of birds kept on the premises, and any other relevant information. This information is kept confidential and is only accessible to authorized officials in the event of a disease outbreak or other emergency.
While premises registration is voluntary, it is highly recommended for all poultry owners in Indiana. By participating in this program, owners can help protect their flocks, as well as the state’s poultry industry as a whole. In addition, prompt identification and notification of avian diseases can help minimize the economic and public health impact of an outbreak.
Indiana State Poultry Premise Registration Link
Bird owners in Indiana are required to maintain records of flock additions and removals for three years. This requirement is part of Indiana’s Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule, but was adopted in the wake of the 2015 highly pathogenic avian flu event that impacted more than 200 farms with 48 million birds.
Records must include the names and addresses of the buyer and seller, sale date, breed, sex, number of animals, and reason for movement. Poultry species do not have to be individually identified. But, if the birds do have identification such as a band, then the identification needs to be noted in the poultry movement records.
Indiana State Sample Record-Keeping Sheet
Reporting Sick/Dead Poultry
In Indiana, it’s encouraged for poultry owners to report any cases of sick or deceased birds to the State Board of Animal Health (BOAH). This helps in the monitoring and control of poultry diseases in the state. As a poultry owner, you can fill out a questionnaire provided by BOAH to report any instances of sick or dead poultry. It’s important to complete the questionnaire as accurately and promptly as possible to help prevent the spread of diseases and protect the health of your flock as well as other flocks in the state.
Indiana StateSick/Dead Poultry Questionnaire
If you plan to exhibit your chickens in Indiana, you must obtain a certificate of veterinary inspection within 30 days prior to the exhibition. The certificate must indicate that your birds are free of infectious or communicable diseases.
Recommended Practices for Protecting Avian Health
To protect the health of your chickens and prevent the spread of diseases, it’s important to practice good biosecurity measures. This includes washing your hands before and after handling chickens, disinfecting equipment, and limiting visitors to your flock. You should also avoid purchasing birds from unknown sources and quarantine new birds for at least 30 days before introducing them to your flock.
In addition, it’s important to regularly clean and disinfect your coop and run to prevent the buildup of disease-causing organisms. You should also practice good nutrition and provide your chickens with clean water and a balanced diet.
Keeping backyard chickens in Indiana can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to follow the state’s laws and regulations to ensure the health and safety of your flock. Remember to check your local government’s rules for any restrictions on backyard chickens in your area and stay up-to-date with any changes in the laws. By following recommended practices for protecting avian health, you can enjoy the benefits of raising chickens in your backyard.