August Question of the Month: An irregular series

 The reference librarians at Seattle Public Library are pretty darn amazing. They don’t know everything, instead they know where to find everything. As part of an irregular series of posts we salute the talented and dedicated reference staff at your local library. Names and other identifying information have been removed from the questions we showcase. Got a stumper? Click on Ask a Librarian. It’s what we do.

 I’ve always heard that Seattle had a four-chicken per household rule (and no roosters), according to local law. Can you find out if that is the actual law or ordinance?

Thank you for your question about chickens-per-household regulations in Seattle.  I’ve consulted the online Seattle Municipal Code and have found the following:

C. Domestic Fowl. Up to three (3) domestic fowl may be kept on any lot in addition to the small animals permitted in subsection A. For each one thousand (1,000) square feet of lot area in excess of the minimum lot area required for the zone or, if there is no minimum lot area, for each one thousand (1,000) square feet of lot area in excess of five thousand (5,000) square feet, one (1) additional domestic fowl may be kept. From Seattle Municipal Code: Under: SMC 23.42.052 Keeping of Animals.

(The above referenced Subsection A):

A. Small Animals. Up to three (3) small animals may be kept accessory to each business establishment or dwelling unit on a lot, except as follows: 1. In no case is more than one (1) miniature potbelly pig allowed per business establishment or dwelling unit (see subsection B of this section)…

You can click here for the full text of this section of the Code.

I found no reference to prohibitions on roosters.

If you’d like to clarify the above, you can contact:

Office of the City Clerk
600 4th Avenue, Floor 3
PO Box 94728
Seattle, Washington 98124-4728
Phone: 206-684-8344

I hope this helps. Please let us know if we can provide additional information by replying to this email or by calling 206-386-4636.

One thought on “August Question of the Month: An irregular series”

  1. Two years ago, I purchased three half-grown chickens, guaranteed to be female, for a coop in my Seattle yard. Three months later, two of my “hens” were crowing. Faced with necessity, I called the city and learned that we are allowed to have roosters among our three small animals — provided that they do not break separate noise-related laws!

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