March 26, 2024

Henkeeping is Now Legal in Cambridge

Photo of a hen.
Photo by Katie Bernotsky.

Interested in keeping hens in Cambridge? Applications for henkeeping permits are now open! Anyone interested must apply for a henkeeping permit from the Cambridge Public Health Department. 

After the Cambridge City Council in November approved an ordinance allowing the keeping of hens, the City of Cambridge has been working closely with local henkeepers, neighbors, and health officials to create new regulations regarding the safe and sanitary operation of chicken coops. 

As part of the application process, prospective hen keepers are expected to consider the daily operation and cleanliness of their coop. Inspectors from the Cambridge Public Health Department and Cambridge Animal Commission will communicate closely with applicants to encourage industry best practices and limit pest activity around hens. Additionally, the regulation creates safety measures and reporting requirements surrounding highly pathogenic avian influenza to help keep locals protected and informed about outbreaks.

The Cambridge Public Health Department requires all individuals keeping hens to apply for a permit. Legacy hen keepers in the City of Cambridge will have extended timelines to bring their coops into compliance with the new regulation. Have questions about the new rules? You can email Paul Schult at [email protected]. Learn more about the permit process on our Henkeeping permit web page.