A case for hen houses

At Monday’s General Government Meeting Backyard Chickens was back on the agenda under New Business. Councillor Zwart was ready with a motion to consider allowing Clarington residents to keep backyard chickens, for the purpose of egg laying, on non-agricultural zoned lands. She pulled the item from the agenda – holding off for now. Here we go again.

The issue of urban backyard chicken farming was debated at the March 29, 2010 General Purpose and Administration Committee meeting. The staff report recommended that the request to amend the by-law to allow for raising chickens on non-agriculturally zoned lands be denied. The six-page report included feedback from 20 municipalities, the Agricultural Committee and Environmental/Food and Drug agencies. I’m not sure if much has changed. The concerns raised in 2010 would still be raised today: predators, disposal, waste management, health, noise, odour, disease control and liability. In October 2020 the issue was back on the table before committee.

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