Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson
> Departments > Community Development > Planning > Animal Regulations > Livestock/Large Animals/4-H

Animal Regulations


Raising livestock in Larimer County usually falls into two different categories-raising "personal livestock" or raising "commercial livestock" as part of a farm or feedyard operation.

The Land Use Code defines livestock as "Cattle, horses, mules, burros, sheep, swine, llamas and goats, regardless of use, and any animals, except dogs and cats, that are used for working purposes on a farm or ranch and any other animal designated by the state agricultural commissioner, which animal is raised for food or fiber production."

Which Zone Districts allow a "Farm" as a use by right?

  • FA- Farming
  • FA-1 Farming
  • FO- Forestry
  • FO-1 Forestry
  • O-Open
  • E- Estate
  • E-1 Estate
  • RE- Rural Estate
  • RE-1 Rural Estate
  • R- Residential
  • AP- Airport
  • Personal Livestock

    Livestock on properties under 3 acres or those that do not meet the definition of a "farm":

    Properties that are under three acres or that do not meet the principle use definition of a "farm" and are located in a zoning district that allows a farm under the principle agricultural uses section are allowed livestock as an accessory use to the principle residential use as long as the number of animals does not rise to the level of a feedyard and does not exceed the limit of one horse per half acre, or are otherwise restricted by the Land Use Code or the State of Colorado.

    Generally if the zoning for a property allows "Farm" as a use by right, then the Land Use Code allows property owners to have accessory/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.
  • Dairy Farms

    Dairy farms are considered a "farm" use. The Land Use Code does not specify a limit on the number of animals on a dairy farm.

  • Feedyards

    The Land Use Code defines a feedyard as a "confined enclosure for the feeding and fattening of livestock where the average number of livestock exceeds ten animals per acre of feedyard and where less than 50 percent of the roughage type feed is raised on the same farm premises." A feedyard is not a use by right in any zone district. Special Review approval is required before a feedyard can be established. Feedyard animals include cattle, sheep, swine and ostriches/emus.

If you would like more specific information or if you have a question that's not answered here, please contact the Larimer County Planning Department at 970-498-7679 or send an email.

Common Questions:

Additional resources:

Background Image: Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson. All rights reserved.