I live in Bellingham, Washington and hope to get a couple hens next year. I live within the city limits and have a very small lot, less than a quarter acre. This is what I've found on animals in Bellingham. It seems as though it is legal unless there is some ordinance saying no. I looked at the ordinances, but they aren't organized very well. I will be calling the city, but I don't trust them not to just say no when there is no ordinance to back them up. 7.12.060 - KEEPING ANIMALS IN THE CITY - GENERAL REGULATIONS - PENALTY A. Any person being the owner or entitled to the possession of any animal of the species of horse, mule, ass, cattle, sheep, goat, domesticated fowl and exotic animals (except domesticated fowl maintained in a residence), including but not limited to, duck, chicken, goose, turkey or peafowl or swine of any kind, shall be permitted to keep the same within the limits of the City except as the same is now or may be hereafter forbidden by ordinance, by securely confining the same in a stable or other building; or an enclosure surrounded by a secure, well-built fence of sufficient height and strength to confine such animal therein; or the same may be securely staked out in a vacant lot in such manner that it cannot get upon any street, alley, or other public place within the City provided that the same is so confined or staked out as to effectively prevent it getting within 50' of any dwelling or other building in which persons work or are accustomed to be, or near enough to the property of another to do any damage thereto or commit any nuisance thereupon; and provided, further, that any such animal shall be considered as running at large when it breaks away from its fastenings or is herded or permitted to feed upon any of the streets, alleys or other public places of the City.