Chickens as Emotional Support Animals: A Guide to Their Therapeutic Role

Chickens as Emotional Support Animals: A Guide to Their Therapeutic Role

Registering domestic chickens as Emotional Support Animals is trending upward. Chickens are friendly and create a strong bond with their owner. Many chicken parents compare their characteristics and behavior to a dog. They run to greet them and respond to their name.

Chickens are quiet and may be a good match for individuals with autism who are sensitive to noises such as a dog barking. The cost to feed and care for a chicken is affordable plus there is the added benefit of daily eggs. Create an environment for your ESA chicken that protects them from the elements and wildlife.

Before adopting a chicken, review your city ordinances. Confirm the city allows chickens as pets or Emotional Support Animals before adopting. Municipalities may have zoning restrictions on keeping domestic chickens on a property. If your property is under the authority of a Homeowners Association (HOA), you must review the CC&Rs to determine if there are any limitations.  Collaborate with the HOA Board of Directors to discuss the guidelines and resolution.

The good news is restrictions are changing in some cities across the country. For example, the City of Phoenix is reviewing modifications to their ordinance to allow for backyard chickens.  Always review the city ordinances to be compliant with setbacks and the number of chickens allowed.

If your property zoning does not allow for chickens, you will need to work with the city to determine if they will allow for an exception. The process involves submitting a Zoning Exception Form. You should share with the city any supporting information to help facilitate the decisions. Provide the city with a copy of the Emotional Support Animal registration if the chicken is an ESA. If you have a letter from your therapist or doctor prescribing an Emotional Support Animal that should sent to the city. Letters from neighbors stating they support having the chickens on your property are also helpful.

Register My Service Animal can provide an Emotional Support Animal registration for your chicken. If you have multiple chickens, we offer a group rate. Please call us at (480) 575-5655 if you have any questions.