Poultry Keeping Rules

four chicken hens on benchIn Salem, you can any domesticated bird for eggs or meat including chicken, duck, guinea fowl, pheasant, pigeon, quail, partridge, dove, or similar bird for personal use as long as you follow the city guidelines. Geese, turkey, emu, ostrich, or similar sized bird are prohibited. No permit or license is needed. You must maintain your poultry facility in a condition that does not produce noise or odor that creates a nuisance for other properties.

Property Types

You can keep poultry at:

  • A home
  • Community garden
  • School-owned property
  • Property owned by a religious organization

How Many Poultry You Can Have

  • A maximum of twelve poultry total per property
  • Roosters are not allowed

You may keep up to six hens and ducks total in Salem without a permit or license.

Poultry Facilities

ducks in basketA “poultry facility” includes a coop and runway. A coop is a roofed shelter which may not be more than 120 square feet. A runway is a fully enclosed fenced area connected to the coop. The coop and runway create an indoor and outdoor environment for the chickens.

When ducks are present, a facility must also include a water source. A “water source” is a clean supply of water in a pond, wading pool, tub or other container large enough for the duck to fit its entire body and deep enough to submerse its head.

  • Poultry must remain confined at all times within the facility, except when under control of an owner or custodian
  • Facility must not produce noise or odor that creates a nuisance for neighbors
  • Facilities for quails and similar sized small poultry must have one square-foot of coop space per bird
  • Facilities for all other poultry, including chickens and ducks must have at least six square feet of run space and at least three square feet of coop space per bird.

Location of Your Chicken Facility

  • In the rear yard
  • At least three feet away from any other building on the property
  • At least 25 feet away from a residence on an adjacent unit of land

Chicken and duck coops must be at least three feet away from other buildings and comply with zoning standards.

Guideline Exemptions

You do not have to meet any guidelines if your property meets one of the following criteria:

  • Zoned Residential Agriculture (RA) and the lot size is at least 10,000 square feet.
  • Zoned Exclusive Farm Use (EFU), any size lot.

You can check your property zone online or by calling the Planning Information Desk at 503-588-6213.

Additional Information