Some Calgarians are lobbying city council to allow them to raise hens in their backyards. (CBC News)

The Calgary Liberated Urban Chicken Klub, known as CLUCK, is lobbying city council to allow people to raise chickens in the metropolis.

A city bylaw currently forbids raising livestock in most urban areas. Section 27.1 makes an exemption for keeping pigeons.

"We're asking for 27.2 that we allow anywhere up to six chickens — hens only, not roosters — in a backyard setting," said Paul Hughes of CLUCK.

He said more than 300 cities in North America, including Vancouver and New York, have amended their bylaws to allow urban chickens without any problems.


Paul Hughes, holding one of his chicks, says getting fresh eggs from backyard hens helps cut greenhouse gas emissions because the eggs don't have to travel hundreds of kilometres to reach the consumer. ((CBC))

The Calgary Food Policy Council, which includes members of CLUCK, and other proponents of the idea have been meeting with Calgary aldermen to explain the benefits of chicken farming in the city.

"You're able to provide fresh eggs in close proximity, so you walk out your back door and then you can have some fresh eggs, as opposed to those eggs travelling hundreds and hundreds of miles. Sometimes in Calgary, we have eggs coming from Burnaby, B.C.," said Hughes.

"Also, chickens are great for lawns, fertilizers. They keep bugs down, if kept properly, and they're just a really great animal to have around in a backyard setting."

Hughes is raising six chicks in a shed in his yard and said he knows of two dozen other people in Calgary who are keeping chickens.