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Urban Chickens

Pete Springer/OPB

Whether or not you are allowed a chicken in your yard depends upon the city you live in. If you’re in Gresham or Salem, forget about it: moves to allow urban poultry in both places were recently voted down. In Portland residents are allowed up to three hens without a permit. In Milwaukie, just south of Portland, you’re allowed up to 50 chickens, including roosters, unless neighbors complain. Then noise ordinances do apply. Neighbors aren’t the only thing to consider if you’re in a place that does allow chickens. What are you going to do with them when they get older and stop laying?

Do you own chickens or do you want to? Why? What’s the situation in your community? And how do your neighbors react?


  • John Carr: Backyard chicken keeper and designer of The Garden Coop
  • Barbara Palermo: Animal health technician and founder of Chickens in the Yard
  • John Kilian: Dentist who spoke out against backyard chickens in Gresham
  • Ken Stine: Gresham planning commissioner
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