By David F. Rooney
A little henpecking by critics at a recent public hearing did not force Council to chicken out on Tuesday as they passed Animal Control Bylaw amendments making backyard chicken ranches completely legal — but only for hens; roosters are not allowed.
Councillor Aaron Orlando introduced the amendment to Animal Control and Licensing Bylaw No. 1758 to permit backyard hen keeping and an amendment restricting it to single-family homes single family use, and allowing electric fencing in city limits to deter rodent, bears and coyotes. Both amendments received third and final reading. The amended bylaw will be formally approved at a future Council meeting.
Among other requirements:
- Chicken owners must ensure that the maximum size of the coop and hen enclosure combined is 7.5 square metres (80.73 square feet) in area;
- Every hen enclosure must provide at least one coop at 0.5 square metre (5.38 square feet) per hen of floor area and no more than 2 metres (6.56 feet) in height, within or connected to the hen enclosure;
- Every hen enclosure must be covered entirely on all sides and the top;
- very coop must contain one perch and one nest box for each hen; and
- Chicken owners cannot situate their hen enclosures within 5 metres (16.4 feet) of a neighbouring dwelling’s window or doors.
Prospective chicken ranchers are also expected to keep their chicken condos clean and sanitary and to be, in all respects, good neighbours.
The previous Council began looking at a chicken bylaw and then put off dealing with it last year. However that did not deter many people from discretely keeping a few of the gentle egg-layers in their yards.
Please click here to read what critics had to say at last month’s public hearing.
Please click here to read the amendments.
Activate the YouTube player below to watch Council’s deliberations regarding the long-awaited Chicken Bylaw. Councillor Orlando begins speaking at the 20:47-minute mark.