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Raising bees and livestock animals in Portland

Portland residents are allowed to keep bees and livestock in their backyards. Rules governing the quantity, maintenance and location of animals help keep them safe and reduce impacts on neighboring properties.

In exchange for fresh eggs, honey and milk, caring for bees and livestock such as chickens and miniature goats can be rewarding and relatively easy. But they do require planning, commitment and daily care.  

The City of Portland is updating the rules for keeping bees and livestock:

Until these new rules are adopted, you will still need to follow the current regulations


Keeping chickens, ducks, rabbits and pygmy goats  

  • You do not need a permit if you keep a total of three or fewer chickens, ducks, pigeons, rabbits or pygmy goats. You can mix and match however you like, as long as you do not exceed three critters total. 

What if I want more of these animals? 

  • If you want to keep more than three of the above animals, the current code requires a permit. Please call the Bees and Livestock Helpline  for more information.  

What if I want to keep different livestock animals? 

  • If you are interested in keeping turkeys, geese, peacocks, cows, horses, burros, sheep, llamas or bees, no matter how many of these animals, the current code requires a permit. Call the Bees and Livestock Helpline  for more information. 

Are there rules for how I keep my livestock?  

Yes, the rules for keeping livestock are to ensure the well-being of the animals and reduce nuisances on neighboring property such as noise, smells, property damage, and rats and other vermin. They include: 

  • Having a secure area for your animal that is in good repair and prevents them from roaming off your property. 

  • Maintaining the area and feeding and watering your animals to ensure clean and sanitary conditions, free of vermin, obnoxious smells and flies.  

  • Keeping your animals at least 15 feet from residential buildings (not including your own). 

What if I want to keep bees? 

  • If you are interested in keeping bees, the current code requires a permit. Call the Bees and Livestock Helpline  for more information. 

What is not allowed in Portland city limits? 

  • Pigs or other swine – unless the pig is a Vietnamese Miniature Pot-Bellied Pig with shoulder height 18 in. or less and weighs no more than 95 lbs. No more than three pigs can be kept at any one address. 

  • Roosters (male chickens).