Episode 38 – Backyard Hens, Part 2

KevinBackyard Chickens, Food Politics, From the Garden10 Comments

Just a couple days prior to going to shoot video of yet another nice person and their backyard chickens, this lady got a visit from a bylaw officer asking her to remove her birds or pay the $500 fine. Admittedly, I was relieved that they had paid her a visit before I did the video, otherwise I’d feel like it was somehow my fault. She’s decided to not pay the fine and see the city in court. As it turns out, she has to wait in line as another decision is pending thanks to this guy. She’s since started an Edmonton chapter of CLUCK. I had her speak to $ cost, time cost, and a variety of other topics that folks generally ask about when it comes to backyard hens.

I know viewers will ask or be curious around how she got busted. Although I don’t know the specifics, I do know that she was perhaps pushing her luck on a couple fronts – first by having roosters [generally a no-no even in cities that allow backyard hens, and source of potential noise complaints], but perhaps more of a liability was that the chickens are allowed to roam freely in the neighbourhood. I certainly wouldn’t care if she was my neighbour and did that – perhaps a rogue egg would end up in my yard, my garden would get fertilized, or it would eat some insects for me – but I completely understand that somebody on the block is bound to object. Let your cat roam, no biggy [illegal], let your hens roam, $500 fine [also, illegal]. I never thought I’d find ‘pet law’ interesting, but it most certainly is.

As an aside, River City Chicken Collective is now on Twitter @rivercityhens.

10 Comments on “Episode 38 – Backyard Hens, Part 2”

  1. Bob in Edmonton

    Very interesting; thank you for following up on this with a second video. I’m sorry to hear this lady is being hassled by bylaw. I know they are just doing their job–a change in regulations would solve all of this.

  2. Greg

    Fantastic, as usual.

    I would be interested to know how such bylaws against came into being. As in, what precedent-setting incident or persuasive metropolitan back in whatever-year originally made backyard chickens a matter for city bylaws at all, not to mention on the forbidden side of things. And I know people alive today who remember it not being the case.

  3. Kevin

    Bob – there will be more. At least 2 more in the coming weeks.
    Greg – that very topic came up at the recent River City Chickens meeting. No idea what the answer is. Yet.

  4. Travis Kennedy

    Definitely an authentic Edmonton Chicken… Look at that comb burn; that is one hardy hen. Love the chicken series! I too would love to hear the history behind the no chicken bylaw.

  5. Stevie

    Actually roaming chickens can do a lot of damage to others’ gardens and landscaping so I’d say containment is key. But I cannot understand the rooster complaint as neighborhood dogs often cause a lot more racket than roosters. Same concept with goats. Yes, they make some noise when it’s feeding time but dogs bark on and off all the time and neighborhoods seem to accept it unless it;s chronic, incessant, or right under their window. Go figure! Stevie@ruffledfeathersandspilledmilk.com

  6. Shannon

    Having let my chickens free range and seeing the damage they did to my flower and berry beds, I wouldn’t appreciate my neighbors chickens roaming. That said, cats do a lot of landscape damage in town and dogs are noisy. If you have critters of any kind, just keep them home. A rooster crowing at 3am beats a dog barking all night.

  7. Wesley Nelson

    We are interested in having 3 laying chickens in our yard in Edmonton. Is there an Alderman to contact or petition to sign to make this type of thing Possible?.

  8. Corey Sieben

    Same question as Wesley, who do we contact to start to remove this horrible bylaw? Is there any way i can help?

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