3 outlawed chickens go from Halifax backyard to farm

Three hens that ruffled feathers in a Halifax neighbourhood are being moved from their backyard chicken coop to a farm in Hants County on Monday.

Neighbours complained feed attracted rats

Three hens that ruffled feathers in a Halifax neighbourhood are being moved from their backyard chicken coop to a farm in Hants County on Monday.

Louise Hanavan will load Captain Crochet, Bernadette and Chicken — her controversial chickens — into her car Monday morning and drive them to their new home down on the farm.

Halifax Regional Council ordered Hanavan, who lives on Edinburgh Street in central Halifax, to get rid of the three chickens that have been roosting in her backyard for nine months. Neighbours complained their feed was attracting rats to the neighbourhood.

Hanavan is hoping she will be able to bring her chickens back home in the future if city council decides they do not pose a hazard.

Council is preparing to take a closer look at the issue of urban farming and could change the bylaw that prohibits poultry in the city core.

Case could prompt debate on urban food production

"I would love to see this open up the discussion about urban agriculture and what we can do to support initiatives like having poultry in the city, but beyond that, making land available for community gardens and finding other creative ways to produce food in the city," Hanavan said.

She said she got the hens in order to have a constant supply of fresh eggs.

"I think that the timing has just been right. It's the right time to be thinking about solutions and ways to be more sustainable as a city because our lifestyles right now aren't going to get us very far into the future," Hanavan said.

"So, I think this is a pretty simple little change to make, and these changes could mean that we're more happy and comfortable in the future."

Come spring, the chickens will nest at the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum, located in the Halifax area, as part of a display on urban agriculture, said Hanavan.

Cities such as New York, Seattle and Victoria allow residents to have a limited number of chickens in their backyard.