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We can't tell you why the chicken crossed the road, but we can teach you what you need to know before considering keeping a chicken coop in your backyard.
Backyard chicken coops can be chaotic if you’re not prepared
Backyard chickens made the media cluck with headlines last year in the lead-up to Vancouver’s chicken bylaw enacted on June 8th, 2010.
Now, a year later, only 25 chicken licences have been issued by Vancouver’s City Hall, according to Tom Hammel, the Assistant Director & Deputy Chief Licence Inspector who oversees the management of Licensing & Animal Control at The City of Vancouver. In fact, there have only been seven chicken complaints since the bylaw was enacted.
But those numbers could be misleading. The Chicken Coop Co-op Forum, for example, has 78 members.
“I encourage people to get a licence,” says Duncan Martin, a Vermont-native who started keeping chickens when he was a kid. Martin gives Chicken 101 workshops at Strathcona Community Centre.
This list is gleaned from Martin’s chicken insights at the most recent workshop so check in with the Strathcona Community Centre to register for the next class: (604) 713-1838.
And just a note to those that think keeping chickens is a lark; New York City, Chicago, Portland and Seattle allow backyard hens. Closer to home, chickens can be kept in North Vancouver Township, Delta, Port Coquitlam (as long as they are not ‘at large’), Victoria, Surrey and Maple Ridge.
In Richmond, you can keep chickens if you have ½ acre or more. And in Burnaby, although there is nothing in the animal control bylaw prohibiting chickens, the zoning bylaw keeps them from most areas of the city.
A table of Canadian and American cities and their approach to chickens can be found here.