Ruffled feathers: the debate over backyard chicken coops

by Jessica Wong, CBCNews.ca

Having spent my whole life in Toronto, I haven't had much opportunity to encounter live chickens, but the idea of keeping a few hens in one's urban or suburban backyard fascinates me.

Vancouver is the latest city to tackle the issue, with city councillors voting last week to study the situation and draft a bylaw amendment, but the concept that residential chicken coop-proponents and opponents have been fighting over for years — from Summerside, PEI to Halifax to Chicago.

Currently, Vancouver residents can raise chickens in their backyards if they own a minimum one-acre property. (CBC).

While some backyard coop fans cite the recent trend of eating locally as their impetus, the current recession also provides a thrifty new argument for keeping a few hens kicking and scratching out back.

Still, concerns over noise and predators (having lost many a battle for backyard dominance to aggressive Toronto raccoons), are valid. And, come winter, is it simply time for chicken stew (or a roast dinner)?

Would you consider installing a backyard chicken coop? Why?