Rules & Permits

If you’re planning to keep chickens, bees or other animals in your backyard, there may be rules you need to follow. Depending on where you live, you may also need a permit.

Contact the city you live in to learn more:

Basic Health Guidelines

Be a Good Neighbor

If you plan to keep bees, you need to tell your neighbors. Some people may be allergic to bees.

It’s also a good idea to tell your neighbors about other animals you plan to keep. Knowing your plans ahead of time can reduce concerns from surprised neighbors. It also gives you time to problem-solve early on.

Safe Enclosuresbackyard chickens

Make sure the structures where you keep your animals are in good repair, have good airflow and are easy to keep clean. There should be no pests, bad smells or collected waste.

Prevent Rats

How you feed and water your animals can attract rats and other pests that can carry disease. Rats are good climbers and diggers. They’re always looking for food. 

  • Store any feed and supplements in a sealed container that keeps rats out
  • Remove extra food
  • Regularly replace and refresh water
  • Rats can get through a space as small as a dime. Cover and secure any holes or gaps larger than one quarter inch.

Rat prevention tips»

Prevent Salmonella

Poultry and other farm animals can carry Salmonella, bacteria that makes people sick. 

  • Always wash your hands after handling animals
  • Always wash your hands after handling eggs
  • Germs can get on the eggs, so make sure they’re completely cooked

More safe handling tips»

Report a Concern


It's our role to enforce Portland's rules for keeping bees and livestock. If you’re out of compliance, we’ll work with you to meet the requirements.

Report bee or livestock concerns l 503-988-7700

Other Cities

Contact your city directly with questions or concerns.

Contact Us

Multnomah County Vector Control
5235 N Columbia Blvd
Portland, OR 97203