Nova Scotia

Ruffled feathers being smoothed in Liverpool backyard chicken battle

Liverpool resident Edward Whynot is one step closer to being legally allowed to keep backyard chickens on his property.

Edward Whynot has received a lot of support in his battle to keep backyard chickens

Liverpool resident Edward Whynot is one step closer to being legally allowed to keep chickens in his backyard following a Tuesday council meeting where the Region of Queens introduced changes to its land-use bylaw.

The proposed amendment would allow and regulate chickens in residential zones, something Whynot fought for this past summer when he was initially told he could not keep a few chickens in his backyard.

Region of Queens Mayor Christopher Clarke said he thinks this is the right move, noting he has always been a supporter of urban poultry.

"I think if you check my record I've voted in favour of keeping these chickens all the way through this thing," he said. "The world's a changed place and I think five chickens on a small lot is not excessive."

The proposed bylaw amendment would allow a resident who lives on a lot of less than 0.4 hectares to keep up to five chickens, with regulations governing the number of coops, their height and placement.

Different rules for roosters

There is also a proposal for those who want to keep roosters outlining the distance from adjacent properties and requiring a minimum 1.2-hectare lot because of the loud crowing.

"It's bad enough for politicians to do it without roosters doing it," the mayor joked.

Whynot spent days last summer protesting the law with a sign outside the town's post office that read "Equal Rights to Own Chickens."

He said at the time he just wanted to have five chickens for their supply of fresh eggs.

Whynot, who grew up on a farm and enjoys chickens, cleaned his chicken coop every day and even had the support of his neighbours.

Whynot garnered the support of several hundred people in an online petition that contained signatures and comments from locals and people from as far away as Germany.

On Tuesday, council voted unanimously to take the matter to a public hearing on Nov. 24. 

The mayor said the amendments may change depending on public input. The revised bylaw will eventually go back to council for approval.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Yvonne Colbert

Consumer Watchdog

Yvonne Colbert has been a journalist for nearly 35 years, covering everything from human interest stories to the provincial legislature. These days she helps consumers navigate an increasingly complex marketplace and avoid getting ripped off. She invites story ideas at yvonne.colbert@cbc.ca

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