Coun. Wally Collins says a bylaw on chicken ownership needs to be amended or scrapped. ((CBC) )

A St. John's city councillor is going to bat for a boy who has been told he has too many chickens, in contravention of an obscure bylaw.

The boy, 12, who lives in the rural Kilbride area of St. John's, is raising 13 chickens on his family's land. A city law limits families to just three chickens per household.

'They're watered, and they're fat. I mean, Mary Brown's would love to get them, or Col. Sanders.' —Coun. Wally Collins

Coun. Wally Collins said the city received a complaint last week about the chickens. He intends to introduce a motion to change the bylaw, so that the boy's chickens can be spared.

"He [has] an excellent chicken coop. They're watered, and they're fat," Collins told CBC. "I mean, Mary Brown's would love to get them, or Col. Sanders."

Collins said the bylaw was drafted about a decade ago, when someone in the centre of St. John's complained about noisy roosters.

"But this young fella hasn't got any roosters," Collins said, adding that the family lives on about an acre of land, well away from others. "They're up in the woods."

Collins said the boy's hens are not causing difficulty, and the bylaw should be amended or eliminated.

"He'll be really distraught if he loses one of his hens."