I realize I'm about 6 months late in participating in this thread, but thought I would chime in with my 2 cents.... It is correct (see above) that you can have 3 hens without a permit. It's also correct that with a permit you can have more hens, but still no rooster. Hubby and I had 3 hens up until this spring, when we expanded our brood. So, we never needed a permit until now. However, I don't think we will apply for a permit, and here's why: - We are happy to pay the $31 (it's just like getting a dog license). - We are happy to have our coop inspected, because we think it's rather cute. HOWEVER.... - I'm don't know that our coop meets building code, which is a requirement. It's a very well constructed structure, but with the hubby being an amateur builder, and me being too lazy to look up the code... well, we'd rather chance having renegade hens than have to rebuild our coop. For example, our coop has no floor, because we use our chicks to compost directly on the dirt - but I think the code requires a floor or that the structure be buried at least 1' in the soil. - We're 25' back from all houses, but our coop is only 1' from the property line. Our neighbors know about the coop and our location was chosen based on their knowledge. The neighbor who's property it's a foot from has her compost pile opposite our coop on the fence line, so it's perfect for both of us - but it doesn't meet the setback regulations. So while I'm happy to pay for a permit, I won't apply because the city's regulations and what I've negotiated with my neighbors to work for all of us are not in sync. Hope this helps!