In today’s world more and more homeowners are raising livestock. Whether it be raising chickens for eggs or owning a few pigs; people are going back to raising their own food sources but how does this look when you don’t own a farm or ranch? Can anyone just buy a cow and place it on their property? When it comes to livestock there are a few rules set in place depending on where you live in Vancouver Washington.
Common Types Of Livestock Homeowners Are Raising
Certain breeds of animals that weigh under 100lbs. are considered domestic animals such as miniature goats and horses. Livestock weighing more than 100 lbs fits either into the small livestock category or the large livestock category whereas animals like birds and rabbits fit into their own category. All livestock is allowed for hobby or personal uses within all zoning districts as long as they meet the individual requirements.
- Pigs and Miniature Pigs– The common pig is typically used for food. Miniature pigs, however, are often seen as pets though they can be used for food too.
- Chickens– Chickens are used for either eggs or eggs and their meat
- Goats– Goats are often raised to help keep weeds from overtaking the land and can also be used for milk. Miniature goats are desired as pets but also serve the purpose of keeping weeds at bay.
- Cows– Owning a cow is not uncommon as many people will regard it as a pet but use the cow for milk and of course, they can always be used for meat.
Rules For Having Livestock Within City Limits
Large Livestock– Large livestock is any animal weighing over 500 lbs. at full maturity. For the first animal, there is a minimum lot size of one acre. Each additional animal requires an additional 10,000 sq. feet per animal. For animals such as cows, to feed one cow properly, it will need a minimum of 2 acres of grassland so it’s important to understand the needs of each animal as this will ensure you are not only following rules but can provide for the animal.
The minimum one lot acre can still hold a legally permitted residence but must have at least half an acre of the land open for the animal to roam and use.
Small livestock– Small livestock requires a minimum of half an acre of land with at least ¼ of that land open for the animal to use and roam. Each additional animal will require 5,000 sq. feet of extra land per animal. Small livestock is considered anything from 100-500 lbs. at full maturity.
Poultry And Rabbits– Chickens, ducks, geese, domesticated hare or rabbit, and similar animals are permitted with no required minimum lot size however, you cannot have turkeys, peacocks, or roosters within city limits.
Miniature Pigs– To have miniature pigs within city limits, they must be spayed or neutered before entry as well as registered and vaccinated. They must also meet the height requirements of no more than 18 inches at the shoulder and their weight cannot exceed more than 95 lbs. A maximum of two miniature pigs can be at one address at a time. More than two of these types of pigs cannot be at one address for more than three calendar days.
The Downsides Of Certain Types Of Livestock
Raising your own livestock is a lot of work. Not only do you have to feed, clean up and house your livestock; you also have to think about what your livestock will bring to the table and we’re not talking about meat!
Livestock like chickens are great for eggs, meat and even keeping the insect population down but unfortunately, they are magnets to pests like raccoons, rats and mice. Rats and mice love to eat chicken food and often find it as an easy food source since chicken food is dispersed amongst their surroundings. If rodents like rats and mice discover an easy food source they are likely to nest within that area and populate which can become a major issue once they have bred enough times. Pests like raccoons like to eat chickens and are especially prone to killing chickens when winter is approaching.
Pigs, horses, cows, ducks, you name it, can also attract pests as food sources are often left outside where pests can get into them. Rats and mice especially love environments with lots of animals because not only do they have a surplus of food but they can use other things like hay to build their nests around the property.
Outside of pests potentially killing or injuring some of your livestock the other concern is infestations occurring.
Understanding what the rules are for raising livestock in Vancouver, Washington is one of the first steps you will need to take before raising livestock on your property. Interested in learning the rules for Portland, OR read our post on the rules for raising livestock in Portland Oregon.