Moncton residents have been allowed to raise backyard chickens since a new bylaw was passed in February. However, the city's senior planner says no one has come to his office to learn more about the rules.

A Moncton planning official says he is surprised no one in the city has signed up to raise chickens in their backyard despite a new bylaw allowing for the practice.

The new bylaw allowing city residents to raise urban chickens has been in place since February.

But Sebastien Arcand, Moncton's senior planner, said his office has not had many people asking about the bylaw’s rules.

"I haven't heard of anybody coming in and actually applying to start this use,” he said.

“So, yes, I am a little bit surprised that we haven't had any uptake or very little uptake."

Back in 2009, a pilot project was created to allow chickens within Moncton’s boundaries.

One family kept four chickens and documented the experience. The project was deemed a success and since that time, there's been a push to allow the practice in the city.

Any momentum from the pilot project stalled as it took several years for a bylaw to be created. The city underwent a review of all of its bylaws before the bylaw allowing for backyard chickens was passed in early 2014.

'I suspect that some people don't know that they have to talk to the city and register with the city.' - Michel Desjardins

Arcand said he thinks some people might not be aware of the rules.

"We knew there were some people with backyard hens in the city so maybe some of them have just continued their use thinking that, ‘Oh, it's allowed now so we don't need to do anything per se as far as getting an application in,” he said.

"But there is a requirement to come in and get an application."

Arcand said there are certain guidelines that have to be followed in order to keep backyard chickens.

Arcand’s belief that some people are just unaware of the rules is supported by one member of a local group called Post Carbon Greater Moncton.

Michel Desjardins said some people do have hens in their backyard, but are not aware of the rules set out by the city.

"I suspect that some people don't know that they have to talk to the city and register with the city and the bylaw doesn't say anything about that," Desjardins said.

Moncton isn’t the only city in New Brunswick that has a law allowing backyard chickens.

Similar bylaws were also approved in Fredericton and Saint John in 2013.