A Winnipeg woman says she is planning to fight a citation she received for raising chickens in her backyard, something prohibited by the bylaw.

Andrea Stone believes chickens in the city are one way to ensure food security for her family, and the birds — George and Mathilda — should be allowed to stay.

"It's really an issue of food security," Stone explained, the day after she received a ticket from bylaw enforcement. "We always know we're going to have something to eat."

The maximum penalty under the bylaw is a fine of $1,000.

Stone was also ordered to remove her chickens, within 30 days.

The applicable bylaw also prohibits people from having crocodiles, monkeys and some exotic species of snake.


Andrea Stone wants to raise a couple of chickens in her backyard. (Angela Johnston/CBC)

Stone says the city does not seem to understand that her chickens are like pets.

"They're definitely not dangerous," she added. "They're very friendly and our children like to play with them."

Chickens in urban areas have been the focus of attentions elsewhere in Canada. Some cities, like Vancouver, allow chickens in yards.

But, a Calgary man recently lost his challenge to keep the birds. He also used a food security argument.

Some people in Stone's neighbourhood said they are concerned about the potential for smell and noise.

A city council member for the area said he supports Stone, but does draw the line at roosters.

"I don't want any roosters," Harvey Smith said. "I think we should limit the number of hens. Why not? People can get fresh eggs, organically. I think it's great."

While Stone plans to fight the ticket, she said she will move her birds to a coop outside the city.

With files from CBC's Angela Johnston