How Can You be More Self-Sufficient? Portland is Leading the Charge with Urban Animal Regulations
There’s not a whole lot that will surprise a person with how 2020 has been going so far. The idea and interest for homeowners to become more self-sufficient in their own backyard doesn’t sound all that crazy. Thankfully, we have cities like Portland who have been paving the way for homeowners interested in taking the plunge into backyard self-sufficiency.
Many enjoy growing their own fruits and vegetables and taking the next step to chickens, bees, goats, and even llamas seems overwhelming but is attainable for those willing to try. It’s so easy, even Oregon grade school and middle school children are well versed in raising chickens at school!
What is Self-Sufficiency?
What really is self-sufficiency in 2020? Going by the dictionary definition: Needing no outside help in satisfying one's basic needs, especially with regard to the production of food. Today, most everyone has a great disconnect from where their food comes from and how it’s produced. Coupled with events like COVID-19, and the effects on our food supply chain and grocery store shortages, people get a better sense of the need to have more control over certain foods they enjoy.
Codes and Policies for Animals in Your Backyard
If you’re planning to keep chickens, bees, or other animals in your backyard, there will be rules you need to follow. Depending on where you live, you may also need a permit. See these requirements for keeping livestock in your backyard.
Requirements for Chickens in Your Backyard
Space: For flocks of four or fewer chickens, the City of Portland recommends two square feet of coop space per bird. For more than four chickens, it’s four square feet per bird.
Other requirements: Your chicken coop needs to be at least 8–10 square feet per bird.
*No roosters allowed.
Requirements for Bees in Your Backyard
Space: Must be an outdoor hive.
Other requirements: The hive must be at least 25 feet from any public street, sidewalk, or park and have a six-foot partition to keep it from view. Also, the area must be secured to keep people from stumbling upon the hive. Be sure to speak with neighbors before starting this endeavor.
Requirements for Horses and Llamas in Your Backyard
Space: At least 45 square feet for the stall area.
Other requirements: An additional 4,500 square feet for a pasture/exercise area.
Requirements for Goats in Your Backyard
Space: 20 square feet per goat for sleeping and resting; pygmy goats require 15–30 square feet per goat.
Other requirements: A minimum of 30 square feet is needed for additional exercise areas.
Requirements for Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pigs in Your Backyard
Size: No larger than 95 pounds and 18 inches at the shoulder.
Note: Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pigs are the only type of pig allowed for longer than three days at homes within Portland city limits.
Requirements for Rabbits in Your Backyard
Space: 3.5 square feet of cage space per rabbit.
What if You 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.
Why is This Important For You To Know?
As a real estate agent, you need to be well versed in all aspects of your housing market, including the stranger ones - especially as the trend shifts to more rural living and homeowners wanting to be self-sufficient. Knowing the ins and outs of animal regulations in your market can be a great advantage when working with interested clients or when finding a property with more land.
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