Chickens & Goats & Bees, Oh My!

Whether you are excited about having fresh eggs and milk and honey, or looking for a new pet that will also mow your lawn, backyard animals can be a wonderful addition to your home.

It can be tricky to figure out what is allowed in your neighborhood: How many ducks are too many? Can I have a pygmy goat and a peacock? Do my neighbors need to know about my hive? Is that a llama peering over my fence?

If you live in the city of Portland, the rules and regulations for keeping animals are enforced by Multnomah County Vector Control. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability maintains a site that lets you know which animals you can keep, when you need to apply for a permit, and what the requirements are to keep various animals. If you have questions, you can contact Vector Control at 503-988-3464 or

If you live in Gresham, the rules for keeping chickens and other livestock are a little different. Questions should be directed to the Code Compliance Division at 503-618-2463 or

The city of Wood Village has fairly clear rules for keeping chickens; for questions regarding other animals, contact the city at 503-667-6211 or

Live in Fairview? The municipal codes are somewhat confusing, so it's best to contact the Fairview Department of Planning Services at 503-674-6206 or

If you live in Troutdale, the rules vary depending on your zoning district (PDF, 344KB). Your best bet is to contact the Community Development Department at 503-674-7228 or

For Maywood Park, call 503-255-9805 or email city government from this page.

The rules for unincorporated Multnomah County are enforced by Multnomah County Vector Control. They can be contacted at 503-988-3464 or

Once you know the rules and you’re ready to start planning, the library has a lot of resources available for you! Below is a list of ten books and DVDs that can help you prepare for your new additions. You can also search the catalog for “domestic animals,” “urban agriculture,” “bee culture,” or the particular animal you are considering. And you can always contact us for help; librarians are standing by!

P.S. If your chickens seem destined for more than just pecking and laying, perhaps it’s time they learn more advanced skills.


Who knew about the Clickin' Chicken classes and the Avian Medical Center. Thanks for finding that and sharing.