How to build a backyard chicken coop in Kansas City

Cracking the code to urban farming.


No yolk, chicks dig Kansas City... okay, I’ll see myself out.

Photo via Pexels, by Matthis Volquardsen

Kansas City might run on burnt ends and pulled pork, but our poultry is certainly no laughing stock.

This is the first spring since Overland Park passed its backyard chicken ordinance, joining other metro areas — including Roeland Park, Lenexa, Shawnee, KCK, Liberty, Lee’s Summit, and KCMO — that allow residents to keep coops.

Want to inflation-proof your egg carton, or simply join in on the urban farming fun? It’s not as hard as you might think, so let’s get cracking.

Start from chicken scratch

KCMO’s ordinance states that city-dwellers are allowed 15 adult chickens, including roosters — and also Vietnamese potbellied pigs, apparently.

Just be sure your backyard (and neighbors) can handle it. Hens must be kept in pens at least 100 feet from any buildings “other than the animal keeper’s dwelling.” Roosters require a 300-ft setback.

Cooped up

Now that you’ve cracked open your city’s chicken-keeping code + perused basic animal husbandry tips, you’re ready to go. Here’s a few things you’ll need:

  • Deck your coop with a feeder, water container, roosting area, and a nesting box.
  • Keep predators out with proper precautions. Raise your coop 8 to 12-in off the ground and invest in a secure latch for the front door to protect your hard-earned eggs
  • A big backyard — your chicks need a designated outdoor area to stretch their skinny legs.
  • Bags of feed, which you can get at local farm supply stores like Feldmans Farm & Home.
  • An endless desire to clean up poop day-in, day-out. ‘Nough said.

And now for that omelette

Expect to shell out ~$650 initially, plus regular expenses — but healthy chicks can average anywhere between 100 to 300 eggs per year, depending on breed. They’re not exactly free, but your omelets will be fresh as ever.