Should Edmonton allow backyard chickens?

Urban chicken advocates in Edmonton are hoping the city will follow the likes of Peace River and Red Deer and allow for a limited number of chickens to be housed in peoples’ backyards.

The city will be releasing a report about the issue later this summer

Backyard chickens are growing in popularity in communities across the country. (CBC)

Urban chicken advocates in Edmonton are hoping the city will follow the likes of Peace River and Red Deer and allow for a limited number of chickens to be housed in peoples’ backyards.

The city will be releasing a report about the issue later this summer.

Supporters are hoping the city will consider changing bylaws to allow the backyard chickens.

Arie Jol grew up in Holland and has previously kept chickens in his backyard in the Highlands neighbourhood, despite the threat of a $500 fine.

“I’m a farmer at heart and it’s so nice to hear them clucking and then get a fresh egg,” he said. “It brings life to the city, to me, so I really hope that this will go ahead.”

Red Deer introduced a pilot project in 2013, allowing citizens to keep up to six chickens per household. As part of the initiative, no roosters were permitted and site visits were conducted.

The City of Red Deer passed the first reading of a bylaw for up to 65 licenses allowing a maximum of four chickens.

However, in Edmonton there is skepticism about keeping chickens in backyards, particularly when it comes to noise and smell.

But Jol says if the city introduces permits, training and regulations on what type of coop you can have, those issues can be alleviated.

“I think it’s nice for the children,” said Jol. “I just brings company, life — and you get a nice egg.”

What do you think? Tweet us @CBCEdmonton or comment below.

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