Animals and animal-related uses are allowed on most properties in Larimer County. Allowed uses may vary due to zoning and parcel size. There are different regulations dealing with horses, livestock, chickens, pet animals, pet animal facilities, and veterinary facilities.

Resources

FAQs

  1. Horses: In Larimer County, outside of city/town limits and the Estes Valley Plan Area, personal horses are allowed on properties for the use of property owners and their guests. The number of horses on a property cannot exceed one horse per one-half acre. Horses are not allowed on lots in the B-Business, C-Commercial, I and I-1 Industrial and the RFLB-Red Feather Lakes Business zoning districts.

    Personal livestock: Generally if the zoning for a property allows "Farm" as a use by right, then the property owners may keep personal livestock. Additionally:

    • The lot or parcel needs to be at least 3 acres in area to meet the definition of a "farm". If the lot is smaller than 3 acres, then the Land Use Code does not provide clear guidance on the keeping of livestock or the number of livestock that can be kept.
    • The number of animals on a property must be less than an amount that would qualify as a feedyard.
    • Livestock cannot be classified as pets.
    • Use best management practices to care for property and livestock to avoid a nuisance situation.
    • Check for private covenants or other restrictions that may limit keeping livestock.

    The Colorado State University (CSU) Extension Office can provide assistance and information about raising livestock and taking care of property.

    Commercial livestock: Raising livestock for commercial purposes is addressed by County land use regulations under Agricultural uses in Section 4.3.1 of the Land Use Code. The County has an Agricultural Advisory Board to address issues that affect production agriculture and agri-business; you can find additional information in the County's Right to Farm policy and Executive Summary.

  2. The keeping of 4H animals is generally considered to be keeping "personal livestock". Here are guidelines for "personal livestock":

    Personal livestock: Generally if the zoning for a property allows "Farm" as a use by right, then the property owners may keep personal livestock. Additionally:

    • The lot or parcel needs to be at least 3 acres in area to meet the definition of a "farm". If the lot is smaller than 3 acres, then the Land Use Code does not provide clear guidance on the keeping of livestock or the number of livestock that can be kept.
    • The number of animals on a property must be less than an amount that would qualify as a feedyard.
    • Livestock cannot be classified as pets.
    • Use best management practices to care for property and livestock to avoid a nuisance situation.
    • Check for private covenants or other restrictions that may limit keeping livestock.
  3. In Larimer County, outside of city/town limits and the Estes Valley Plan Area, personal horses are allowed on properties for the use of property owners and their guests. The number of horses on a property cannot exceed one horse per one-half acre. Horses are not allowed on lots in the B-Business, C-Commercial, I and I-1 Industrial and the RFLB-Red Feather Lakes Business zoning districts.

    If you want to board horses on your property or offer lessons or training, click here for details on Larimer County's Equestrian Operation regulations.

  4. A property owner may raise chickens if there is a house or residential use on a property. Keeping chickens for personal use is considered an accessory use.

    • An owner or tenant may keep up to 6 chicken hens
    • Keeping roosters or more than 6 chickens is prohibited in all zone districts except those that allow a farm.
    • The following requirements apply to keeping chickens:
      • The chickens must be provided with a covered, properly ventilated, predator-resistant chicken coop.
      • The chickens must have access to an outdoor enclosure that is adequately fenced to protect them from predators.
      • The coop and enclosure are limited to a maximum size of 120 square feet.
      • The chicken coop and outdoor enclosure shall be regularly cleaned to control dust, odor, and waste and not constitute a nuisance, safety hazard, or health problem to surrounding properties
  5. Alpacas are considered livestock. If your zoning district allows a farm then you may have alpacas and the Land Use Code does not specify the number of these livestock that can be kept on a property. Best management practices should be used to care for the property so there are no neighborhood issues and a nuisance is not created. We recommend that you check with your HOA, if applicable, to see if there are any restrictions and the CSU Cooperative Extension Office for information on raising livestock.

  6. This may depend on the circumstances. The Land Use Code allows property owners to keep pet animals as an accessory use. Personal horses for the use of property owners and their guests are allowed in all zone districts that allow single family dwellings, at a rate not to exceed one horse per half acre. Personal livestock and 4H animals are often kept on smaller acreages where the zoning allows a "farm" use. Private covenants are sometimes more restrictive than the county regulations.

  7. The Land Use Code defines agriculture as "the production, keeping or maintenance, for sale, lease or personal use, of plants and animals useful to people. This includes but is not limited to forages and sod crops; grains and seed crops; dairy animals and dairy products; poultry and poultry products; emus and ostriches; livestock, including beef cattle, sheep, swine, horses, ponies, mules, llamas, alpacas or goats or any mutations or hybrids thereof, including the breeding and grazing of any or all such animals; bees and apiary products; fur animals; trees and forest products; fruits of all kinds, including grapes, nuts and berries; vegetables; nursery, floral, ornamental and greenhouse products; or lands devoted to a soil conservation or forestry management program."

  8. The Land Use Code defines a farm as "any parcel of land containing at least three acres used primarily for the commercial, soil-dependent cultivation of an agricultural crop, the facilities and storage necessary for the management of a commercial custom farming operation or the hauling of farm products, the raising of fish, bees, plants or animals or the raising of livestock, including horse breeding farms. This does not include feed yards, poultry farms, exotic animal farms or fur farms.

  9. The Land Use Code defines a feedyard as "a confined enclosure for the feeding and fattening of livestock where the average number of animals exceeds ten animals per acre of feed yard and where less than 50 percent of the roughage type feed is raised on the same farm premises.

  10. Section 4.3.1 of the Land Use Code describes principal agricultural uses. Agricultural related terms are also defined in Section 0.1.1 definitions

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Larimer County Planning Department
200 W. Oak Street, Third Floor, Fort Collins, CO 80521
On-call Planner:
(970) 498-7679
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