Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in Washington State


Can you keep chickens in your backyard in Washington State? Yes, you can. How many chickens can you have in Washington State? The number of backyard chickens you can have in Washington State depends on the municipality in which you live, as the code of ordinances regulating the keeping of chickens vary by city. However, the number of chickens allowed per property in most Washington State cities is capped at 6.

Backyard Chickens in Washington State

So, if you considering raising chickens in your backyard in The Evergreen State, you may want to check your local ordinances to find out if they are allowed and what the requirements are. That said, below are some cities in the state of Washington that permit residents to keep chickens in their backyards.

1. Seattle, WA

In recent years, the keeping of backyard chickens has become increasingly popular in many Washington cities, including Seattle, as interest in locally produced food, including eggs, has grown. In the city of Seattle, residents are allowed to keep a maximum of eight chickens in their backyards. However, if you live on a property of more than over 10,000 square feet, you can have more than eight backyard chickens in the Emerald City. Furthermore, Seattle's Code prohibits the keeping of roosters within the city limits.

2. Spokane, WA

The City of Spokane permits residents to keep one chicken per 1,000 square feet of lot area. But you can't keep a rooster in Spokane. The City Code requires that chicken pens or coops be set back five feet from the property line and twenty-five feet away from dwellings on neighboring properties. The Spokane County Regional Health District requires that chicken coops and yards be kept in clean and sanitary conditions at all times. Similar regulations are in place in Spokane Valley and Airway Heights.

3. Tacoma, WA

Raising backyard chickens in residential areas is allowed in the City of Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington State. The City allows a maximum of six hens per property. However, if you obtain written permission from neighbors within 50 feet of your property, you can keep up to ten hens on a parcel, so long as certain conditions are followed.

Chicken owners in Tacoma must not allow their birds to run at large in the streets, alleys or public places within the City. Chicken pens or coops must be located at least 12 feet away from neighboring residences.

4. Vancouver, WA

The City of Vancouver in Clark County, Washington State, allows the keeping of backyard chickens with no required minimum lot size. However, the keeping of roosters is not permitted in the City of Vancouver, WA. A maximum of three hens is allowed per residence within the Vancouver city limit.

5. Bellevue, WA

In Bellevue, King County, WA, residents are allowed to keep a maximum of six chickens in their backyards, provided certain requirements are met. The City Code requires that chicken coops or enclosures be located at least 15 feet away from the property line. In addition, chicken owners must not permit their birds to run at large.

6. Kent, WA

The City of Kent's code refers to chickens as domesticated fowl and residents may keep up to three per 5,000 square feet of lot area. You can keep more than three backyard chickens in Kent if you live on a property of more than 5,000 square feet of lot area. Roosters are not permitted within the City limits of Kent.

7. Everett, WA

Everett, the county seat and largest city of Snohomish County, Washington, permits residents to obtain a permit before keeping 6 or more chickens in their backyards. Under no circumstances should a resident keep roosters in the City of Everett. For more information, Everett residents can contact Animal Services at 425-257-6000.

8. Federal Way, WA

The City of Federal Way in King County permits residents to keep a limited number of backyard chickens in residential zones without the need to obtain a license. A total of four chickens are allowed on residential lots less than 35,000 square feet and up to 20 chickens are allowed on residential properties of 35,000 square feet and larger. Chicken coops must be kept at least 10 feet away from side and rear property lines.

Other Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in Washington State

  • Renton, WA: Allows 3 chickens
  • Yakima, WA: Allows 4 hens
  • Kirkland, WA: Allows from 3 to 20 chickens
  • Bellingham, WA: Allows chickens
  • Auburn, WA: Allows 10 chickens per lot
  • Kennewick, WA: Allows 3 hens
  • Pasco, WA: Allows 20 to 40 chickens
  • Redmond, WA: Allows 4 to 10 chickens
  • Marysville: WA: Allows Allows 6 hens
  • South Hill, WA: Allows chickens
  • Lakewood, WA: Allows up to 16 chickens
  • Richland, WA: Allows 4 hens
  • Olympia, WA: Allows 5 hens
  • Lacey, WA: Allows up to 20 chickens
  • Burien, WA: Allows 3 chickens
  • Bremerton, WA: Allows no more than 5 hens


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