Backyard Livestock

Keeping small livestock animals is a sustainable, healthy, and fun source of food. And it's legal! Here's what you need to know. Wondering if you're allowed to keep backyard livestock on your property? Follow these 4 easy steps to determine if you're eligible. If you have any specific questions, please email Dylan Lenzen or call at 928-213-2158.

Look up Your Zoning

  • If you live in Estate or Rural Residential zoning, you can keep all types of small and large livestock, as well as bees as long as you follow the regulations outlined in the Animal Keeping Code. You can ignore the rest of the steps.
  • If you live in all other Residential zoning, you may be able to keep small livestock with a livestock keeping permit. Small livestock includes chickens, ducks, rabbits, and pygmy/miniature goats. You can also keep bees without a permit.
  • Unsure of your zoning? Look up your address on this map.

Look up Your Lot Size

  • If you are unaware how big your lot is, you can find it by looking up your address in Coconino County's Parcel Viewer.
  • Your lot size determines how many small livestock you can keep. The number of each type of livestock allowed for each lot size can be found in the table below:
Animal Keeping Table

Determine if You Can Meet Spacing & Setback Requirements

  • Depending on which livestock you are keeping, you need to provide adequate space for your livestock. You also need to make sure that shelters for your livestock, such as chicken coops and rabbit hutches are the appropriate distance from neighboring property lines and homes. If you are keeping small livestock, including chickens, ducks, rabbits, or miniature goats, you need to meet two different setback requirements:
    • Animal shelters must be at least 10 feet from all neighboring property lines, except those abutting an alleyway. If this is the case, the shelter can extend up to the property line.
    • Shelters must be at least 20 feet from neighboring homes.
  • You will also need to make sure that your animal shelter is located in your rear yard.

Apply for a Permit

  • If you're only keeping bees, you do not need a permit.

Unless you live in Estate and Rural Residential zoning, a permit is required to keep backyard livestock, such as chickens, ducks, and rabbits. The application (PDF) is free and easy and you'll get a notice of approval within two weeks. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sustainability Section office is currently closed. To submit your application, please email a completed copy or mail to the following address:
City of Flagstaff Sustainability Section
211 W Aspen Avenue
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Example of a Site Drawing

As part of your permit application, you will need to submit a site drawing that demonstrates where your animal shelter will be located on your property. An example of this is shown as follows, which was done using a screenshot from Google Maps and a paint application. It is also fine to submit one that is hand-drawn as long as it demonstrates the proper location and setbacks.

Site Plan Example

Full Animal Keeping Code

You can access a complete version of the Animal Keeping Code. On May 19th, 2020, revisions to the Animal Keeping Code will take effect. Included in these revisions is a requirement to have a permit to keep livestock in residential zones, other than estate and rural residential. You can see the revisions that will take effect in a modified version of the code (PDF).

Helpful Resources

If you have additional questions about the Animal Keeping Code or permitting process please email Dylan Lenzen or call at 928-213-2158.