Support Us Button Widget

How to raise chickens in your backyard

Fresh eggs, every day.

Variety of chickens in their pen

Our tips will help you rule the roost.

Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday

Table of Contents

It’s completely legal to raise chickens in residential backyards in the Portland metro area — and coops for egg production can be a sizzlin’ hot commodity. Here’s what you need to know to get crackin’ — and calculate their worth.

Research pecking orders

Official Portland ordinances allow for up to “four domestic fowl” on residential lots — which is kind of a lot — and even more for properties over 10,000 sqft. But the law bans backyard roosters. Those early wake-up calls aren’t cool for your neighbors.

A spacious chicken coop in a yard

Coops must be 3 ft from side and rear property lines and at least 10 ft from the front property line.

Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday

Don’t just wing it

This isn’t like getting a goldfish — raising and caring for poultry requires a lot of work. Be sure to review Oregon’s avian influenza information and basic animal husbandry practices. If you’re still feeling clucky, you’ll need:

A hand holds a basket of eggs above chickens

If only they laid golden eggs...

Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday

Eggs in one basket

What should you expect when your chickens are expecting? Healthy, well-fed hens can potentially lay up to 320 eggs a year — and they’ll be as fresh as can be. Read up on safety tips before handling, though.

As for your wallet health, expect to shell out at least several hundred dollars initially (the national average is approx. $650), with regular expenses clucking in at $25-$30 per month. So, buying eggs at the store is probably more cost-effective — just not as much urban farming fun.

More from PDXtoday
The annual festivities give sneaker enthusiasts the chance to brush shoulders with creatives and leaders in the footwear industry.
This week — Monday, July 22-Friday, July 26, 2024 — we’re shining a spotlight on the vibrant drink scene in Portland.
The property on the way to Mount Hood offers animal tours, hosts private events, and has Airbnbs to reserve for your next getaway.
The touring show “Kooza” will run from Wednesday, Aug. 21 to Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Portland Expo Center.