Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay council to vote on allowing backyard chickens

After a lot of discussion and debate, Thunder Bay city council is slated to vote Monday on whether to allow backyard chickens in the city.

If council approves, it will be the first time since the fifties that residents can raise chickens at home

New poultry farming guidelines for residents in Thunder Bay are set to be voted upon Monday night. (CBC)

After a lot of discussion and debate, Thunder Bay city council is slated to vote Monday on whether to allow backyard chickens in the city.

City administrators have drafted a set of regulations governing how chickens are to be kept which they recommend council approves.

Some of the conditions include:

  • People would be allowed to keep up to 6 chickens for either egg production, or as pets.
  • Having roosters would not be allowed, and owners would not be allowed to slaughter or euthanize the animals, or sell any food or other product derived from the chickens.
  • Chicken coops must be limited to 10 square metres, be roofed, have proper ventilation, and would be confined to the backyard of a single-detached home.
  • The coop must also be 7.6 metres from any dwelling.
  • A separate, enclosed container must be on the property for manure storage

If council approves the bylaw changes, it would be the first time since the early 1950s that residents could raise chickens within city limits.

Historically, bylaws started coming into effect in the 1950s in both former cities of Port Arthur and Fort William that pushed poultry and other livestock outside city limits.

The subsequent urbanization of both cities, followed by the amalgamation into Thunder Bay in 1970 further cemented this.

The report to council says that allowing backyard chickens won't contribute to food security "in any substantive way," but it will promote goals of the city's sustainability plan as well as fall in line with other guiding documents.

with files from Matt Prokopchuk. packaged by Casey Stranges

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