Backyard chicken pilot project scratched by Calgary council

Calgary city council balked at the idea of a pilot project on Monday to allow hens in 20 backyards for one year.

Councillors vote 9-6 against proposal

Calgary City Council voted Monday 9-6 against the idea of a year-long pilot project to allow chickens to be raised in 20 backyards. (CBC) (CBC)

City council has once again balked at the idea of allowing Calgarians to raise hens in their yards.

The proposal to permit the chickens in 20 backyards for one year was scratched in a 9-6 vote on Monday.

The pilot project was pitched by councillors Ray Jones and Gian-Carlo Carra with the idea that if it worked, it could expand throughout the city.

Jones and Carra first suggested the plan earlier this year, saying there is growing support among Calgarians for wider access to sustainable, local food sources.

But the idea didn't get off the ground. Some councillors said they wanted to know more before approving the project.

Backyard chicken coops have been a tough sell in Calgary. The idea has been debated several times in the past, including another proposal in 2010 which was rejected.

Several cities across Canada allow backyard chicken coops, including Victoria and Vancouver, while Edmonton and Red Deer have recently approved pilot programs.

Councils in Toronto and Halifax have opted not to allow raising chickens in those cities.

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