Kitsap Backyard Chickens! Bwak bwak . . .
The Kitsap area is blessed with a wonderful semi-rural setting, and even our urban areas typically have backyards that are generous and private by the standards of large metro areas. It has stirred the desire to look into urban homesteading for many of us, including the keeping of backyard poultry.
While chickens are the most common fowl found in our backyards, the ordinances are broad enough to cover ducks and other domesticated fowl. If you are unsure if your preferred bird will be covered, give the county (and city, if you're in city limits) a call - they'll set you on the right path.
Kitsap DOES allow backyard chickens (etc), with some variability according to whether you live inside the city limits, or not. They are largely unregulated in unincorporated Kitsap, which just means you'll need to observe animal welfare regulations in general - and noise regulations, if you have a rooster that might bother neighbors.
Inside the City of Bremerton, you're allowed up to five hens - and you'll need a license from the city. At the time of this writing, you could obtain the license from the Humane Society of Kitsap, and it costs $12.50 annually. Roosters are explicitly forbidden. The city has some explicit rules about the care and keep of your chickens, so be sure to read the regulations carefully.
The City of Poulsbo has a handy PDF on their website regarding Animal Keeping, and it specifically addresses domesticated poultry. In town, you may keep between two and six birds depending upon your lot size, and turkeys, peacocks, and roosters are specifically prohibited.
The City of Port Orchard apparently has laws that are in need of clarifying - they neither allow nor disallow backyard chickens. Definitely do your research if you live in the city limits of Port Orchard, before diving into outfitting the property for chickens.
The keeping of chickens or other fowl is prohibited inside the city limits of Bainbridge.
A great resource if you're just getting interested in the idea, is the premier site for folks interested in backyard chickens: the aptly named BackyardChickens! Online for two decades, the site is a wealth of information on breeds, shelters, care, plans for coops, and more. It features busy community forums where you can find answers to just about any question imaginable.
One important exception to all of this (which may halt your chicken dreams altogether) are private developments that have covenants the homeowners must follow. You'll need to read your HOA(Home Owner Association) or Covenant rules (and sometimes called "CCRs" for "Covenant Conditions and Restrictions" in real estate-speak) very carefully before you embark on backyard poultry adventures. It's not a terribly common in the Kitsap area, but something to consider if you have your heart set on a backyard coop of cluckers.
Looking for your own place to set down permaculture roots - or even a spot where you can enjoy your own fresh eggs? Give us a call at Dupuis Team real estate today, and we'll be happy to lend an ear - and a hand! We're open for business as usual during the Coronavirus shutdown - which is to say, we're continuing to work online and by phone, on your behalf. (In fact, this week's video focuses exactly on these questions - see below!) We've always worked this way, so there's little to change - it's been very seamless in our case. Let us know what you need!