Nova Scotia

Neighbour balks at backyard chickens

Posted: January 23, 2008

A Halifax woman has been ordered to get rid of her three backyard chickens after a neighbour complained they were attracting rats.

Louise Hanavan says she loves the fresh eggs. ((CBC))

Louise Hanavan is sending the birds to a farm in Bridgewater to comply with the end-of-month deadline.


But Hanavan, who has kept the chickens in the back of her west-end home for nine months, said there are benefits to having a few hens in the city.

"If we're talking about reducing carbon emissions, then producing our own food in a way that is unobtrusive to our neighbours is not a bad idea," she told reporters Wednesday.

Hanavan loves the fresh eggs, particularly since she knows exactly what the chickens eat because she's the one who feeds them.

The chickens will be sent to a farm in Bridgewater. ((CBC))

In the summer, she uses the manure in compost for her vegetable garden.

The municipality stepped in this month after a neighbour down the street called the local councillor to complain that the chicken feed was attracting rats.

"I've got nothing against the chickens at all, but I got lots against the rats," said Reg Harper. "You have to put feed out, so you're going to have rats."

Harper said he doesn't believe poultry should be allowed in city neighbourhoods like his.

An official letter to Hanavan states fowl are not permitted in urban areas.

Though she's sending her hens away, Hanavan hopes the municipality will review the issue.

She said cities such as New York, Seattle and Victoria allow residents to have a limited number of chickens.