Toronto's licensing and standards committee deferred a vote Wednesday that could have allowed residents to keep a limited number of hens in their backyards.

The deferred vote means the city will continue responding to complaints, but won't actively enforce the bylaw.

Coun. Joe Mihevc brought the motion forward, noting a number of residents who wish to keep hens in their backyards to produce eggs for personal use.

Existing bylaws prohibit the keeping of chickens in Toronto.

Mihevc's motion said cities such as Kingston, Ont., Vancouver, New York, Cleveland, and Los Angeles have modified their regulations to include backyard hens.

Toronto would have had to establish regulations governing potential issues such as noise, odour, separation distances, selling of eggs, and waste disposal.

With files from The Canadian Press