Urban Chickens and Rabbits

The Ottumwa Municipal Code allows residents to legally keep rabbits and chickens within the city limits of Ottumwa under a permit issued by the Ottumwa Police Department.     Persons wishing to keep chickens and rabbits must meet certain requirements in order to receive a permit.

A maximum of six chickens and/or rabbits may be kept per premises. No roosters are allowed. The animals must be kept in a coop or pen, and are not allowed to run at large. Coops or pens must be in a rear yard area and at least ten feet away from the property line. They must be at least fifty feet away from any adjacent residential dwelling, building, church, school or place of business. Coops and pens are subject to inspection to ensure adequate space for each animal and proper sanitation of the enclosure.   The initial permit fee is $60 and is valid for three years and would allow up to six chickens and/or rabbits per property.

Persons who would like to keep chickens or rabbits within the city limits can contact Officer Jeff Williams at the Ottumwa Police Department at 641-683-0648 to begin the permit application process.

View the rules and regulations for keeping urban chickens and rabbits.

Violations of the Ottumwa Municipal Code are punishable by a civil penalty of $250 for first violation, $500 for the second violation and $750 for third and subsequent violations.

The rules for keeping rabbits and chickens have been in effect since July, 2015.



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