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Discover Ontario’s Laws on Raising Chickens

By Tom Seest

At BackyardChickenNews, we help people who want to raise backyard chickens by collating information and news blended with our own personal experiences.

If you’re planning on raising backyard chickens, you should start by preparing your chicken yard. There are many things to consider. Creating the infrastructure is essential, and it can make your new venture more enjoyable and stress-free. Before purchasing your birds, you should have a clear idea of how you will feed and care for them. In the absence of such a structure, your chicken expedition is doomed from the get-go.

Are Backyard Chickens Legal In Ontario?

Are Backyard Chickens Legal In Ontario?

Is Your City Next to Allow Backyard Chickens?

The Urban Hens pilot program for backyard chickens in Ontario has been in place since September 2018. It is a two-year extension of the bylaw that was originally set to expire on October 15, 2018. The bylaw requires applicants to fill out a Health Management Plan that educates them about biosecurity, vaccinations, and other risks associated with backyard chickens. The plan also helps protect the health and safety of hens and neighboring properties.
The Urban Hens pilot is aimed at reducing food waste and increasing access to local food. The program also provides an ample supply of fresh eggs, which are nutritious and can help reduce household food waste. In May, municipal licensing and standards staff at City Hall tabled a report in support of the program.
The pilot program has allowed backyard chicken owners to keep up to four hens in their backyards for personal enjoyment. The program is expected to run until March 2021. However, the city is now considering extending the program for another year. The extension would make backyard chickens legal in Toronto.
If you are interested in starting a backyard chicken flock, the first step is to fill out an application for a permit from the Urban Hens pilot program. To apply, you must have a property within the designated zones. You must pay $50 for a permit and submit it with the application. The fee is non-refundable, so be sure to have the money available to cover the cost of the permit.
Toronto’s UrbanHensTO pilot program for backyard chickens was launched in 2018. The project was the result of a long debate on backyard chickens in the city. It is important to remember that there are many factors that influence the evolution of policy. In the 1980s, there was a growing concern about the health and safety of chickens. Toronto City Council even considered banning the ownership of backyard chickens.

Is Your City Next to Allow Backyard Chickens?

Is Your City Next to Allow Backyard Chickens?

Backyard chickens are legal in some cities in Ontario but not in others. The province’s local government determines the rules for keeping backyard chickens. Toronto, for example, launched a pilot program in March 2018 that allows up to four hens per address. However, it’s important to note that roosters are prohibited in urban areas. As of March 2018, 199 hens were registered at 69 different addresses across the city.
However, some municipalities have passed by-laws that restrict backyard chickens to protect animal welfare and minimize nuisance impacts to neighbors. These by-laws usually prohibit keeping roosters and restrict the sale of eggs and chicken meat. They also often set minimum setbacks from property lines.
In response to increasing interest in backyard chickens in urban areas, the Town of Greater Napanee has conducted a survey to gauge local sentiments on the issue. The results will help shape recommendations to council regarding the issue. Backyard chickens are currently legal in urban zones if they are kept on a property zoned as Prime Agriculture.
The application process is simple and straightforward. Applicants must fill out an application and provide the required documents. A permit is valid for two years. The fee for backyard hens is $50. If the permit is revoked, the fee is not refunded. In the past, backyard chickens were only legal in rural residential zones and agricultural zones. Nevertheless, the government is making it easier to keep backyard chickens in residential areas.

Is Raising Chickens in Your Backyard Legal in Ontario?

Is Raising Chickens in Your Backyard Legal in Ontario?

Why Should Ontario Residents Consider Raising Chickens?

Keeping backyard chickens in Ontario has several benefits, including reducing municipal solid waste. The eggs produced by backyard chickens are free of antibiotics and pesticides, which are great for the environment. They also help to reduce the population of backyard pests. The pilot project in four Toronto wards will be implemented over three years.
While the regulations for backyard chickens vary from municipality to municipality, they all have some restrictions and benefits. In most cases, backyard chickens are allowed only on rural properties. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture in Ontario offers information about how to raise backyard chickens. The ministry provides information about how to properly care for the chickens and address public health issues. There are also considerations about how backyard chickens affect the appearance and value of a property.
Backyard chickens can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to store-bought eggs, backyard eggs are fresher and contain higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A and D. Not only do backyard chickens provide delicious eggs, they are also an excellent education tool for children and teenagers. The droppings from backyard chickens are also beneficial to the environment.
While backyard chickens are popular in Ontario, not all cities allow them. It is important to check with local officials and local ordinances before starting a backyard chicken project. Some cities have specific rules for the size of a flock, coop design, and amount of acreage needed for each animal.
Another benefit of raising backyard chickens is that they provide easy access to farm-fresh eggs. You may even decide to turn your chickens into a small business and sell the eggs. Moreover, backyard chickens are fun for the entire family. They also provide the opportunity to make the household more interesting.

Why Should Ontario Residents Consider Raising Chickens?

Why Should Ontario Residents Consider Raising Chickens?

How Many Hens Can you Legally Have in Guelph?

In Ontario, there are limits for backyard chickens. The province requires farmers to raise 300 birds per year, but this isn’t practical for many people. Besides, eggs from backyard chickens are more expensive than those from local farms. Not to mention, there’s a lot of noise and potential pests.
Many cities allow backyard chickens, but not all. Brantford, for example, has a bylaw amendment that allows you to have up to 10 chickens and a single rooster. However, many other cities in Ontario have not approved backyard chickens. There are some exceptions, such as Edmonton, where a pilot program is currently underway.
As poultry can be prey for predators, their housing must be adequately insulated to prevent the animals from getting cold and wet. It should also provide adequate ventilation to reduce ammonia. Before purchasing a flock of chickens, check with your municipality’s building code for specific requirements. It’s also a good idea to check whether you can dispose of the birds’ mortalities on-site.
It’s also important to remember that chickens can live up to 10 years and stop laying eggs after five years. According to Barbara Cartwright, CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, chickens should be handled humanely and properly. If you’re thinking of purchasing a flock of backyard chickens, it’s a good idea to use them as pets, not as food.

How Many Hens Can you Legally Have in Guelph?

How Many Hens Can you Legally Have in Guelph?

Is There a Better Option for Raising Chickens in Ontario?

If you live in a city, there are many alternatives to backyard chickens in Ontario. In some urban areas, including Toronto, Windsor, Kelowna, and Kingston, backyard chickens are allowed. In others, however, chickens are banned. However, in Edmonton, there is a pilot program until August 2015 that allows some homes to keep chickens.
Backyard chickens have many benefits. You can raise chickens for meat and eggs. However, it is important to check local laws and regulations before you purchase chickens. If the town does not permit backyard chickens, you may be required to buy your eggs from a certified farmer. This may require some additional costs, but it is worth it in the long run.
Another option is renting backyard chickens. Some rental companies offer a package that includes three heritage hens, a waterproof coop, organic feed, predator-proof electric fencing, and delivery and pick-up. The service is convenient for those who aren’t able to care for their own chickens.

Is There a Better Option for Raising Chickens in Ontario?

Is There a Better Option for Raising Chickens in Ontario?

Be sure to read our other related stories at BackyardChickenNews to learn more about raising chickens in your backyard.


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