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Feathered Frenzy In Canada’s Capital

By Tom Seest

Are Backyard Chickens Taking Over Ottawa?

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

The city of Ottawa is hearing from urban farmers who want to bring backyard chickens back. In 2020, the city’s bylaw office will get 73 calls about urban chickens. By 2021, they expect to receive 93 calls. Here are some tips to keep chickens safe.

Are Backyard Chickens Taking Over Ottawa?

Are Backyard Chickens Taking Over Ottawa?

Are Ottawa’s Backyard Chickens Causing Trouble?

In 2021, Ottawa police received 93 calls for loose chickens, making it the city’s third most common animal call after dog attacks. The highest number of calls occurred in the Osgoode and West Carleton-March wards, with 18 and 14 calls respectively. Other wards that received at least one call were College Ward, Gloucester-Southgate, and Rideau-Goulbourn.
Animal welfare groups and city officials say that keeping chickens is illegal in most areas of the city. They say chickens attract pests and predators to backyards and can be dangerous. Additionally, roosters are illegal everywhere in Ottawa and could spread diseases to people.

Are Ottawa's Backyard Chickens Causing Trouble?

Are Ottawa’s Backyard Chickens Causing Trouble?

Is Ottawa Overrun with Backyard Chickens?

The city’s bylaw and regulatory services department has received 93 calls related to backyard chickens in 2020, a spike from 39 calls in the previous year. Backyard chickens are not allowed in most parts of Ottawa. The city also has strict regulations about livestock. While chickens aren’t allowed in all areas, Ottawans who live in rural residential areas can keep up to 10 hens.
To keep backyard chickens legal in Ottawa, you must first get a backyard hen permit. This will allow the city to keep track of your hens and alert the public about any outbreaks of disease. The permit is free and only takes a few minutes to fill out. However, it must be renewed each year by January 15.
Backyard chickens can be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. By composting the manure from your backyard chickens, you’ll be reducing the need for fossil fuel. Backyard chickens can also provide fertilizer. As a result, a growing number of people are turning to backyard chickens. As people grow more concerned about where their food comes from, they’re also becoming more self-sufficient. Urban dwellers are increasingly interested in raising chickens to reduce their impact on the environment.

Is Ottawa Overrun with Backyard Chickens?

Is Ottawa Overrun with Backyard Chickens?

Are Ottawa Residents Embracing Backyard Chicken Farming?

The bylaw department in Ottawa received 39 calls in 2019 related to backyard chickens. The animals are illegal in many parts of the city and can attract pests and predators. Not only that, chickens can produce foul odors and noise. Poultry litter can also be a fire hazard. In Ottawa, it is illegal to keep livestock on a residential property, but the city does permit those living in rural residential areas to have as many as ten hens.
Despite these prohibitions, Ottawa residents are not alone in attempting to raise backyard chickens. In fact, many towns across North America have quietly banned backyard chickens. As the homegrown food movement gained momentum, municipalities began to restrict the presence of backyard hens in residential yards. The changes to bylaws came quietly, but the public gradually became aware of the new restrictions. It was only a few years later that the city began to see some repercussions from the new rules.

Are Ottawa Residents Embracing Backyard Chicken Farming?

Are Ottawa Residents Embracing Backyard Chicken Farming?

What Happens to Ottawa’s Backyard Chickens?

Whether raising backyard chickens is just for fun or as a business, you should make a humane slaughter plan to ensure the safe and humane disposal of your birds. There are several ways to do this, including the use of biosecurity signs, enforcing a strict no-touch policy, and ensuring your birds have as much “downtime” as possible. A well-managed backyard chicken farm can help you avoid attracting pests, including rats and mice.

What Happens to Ottawa's Backyard Chickens?

What Happens to Ottawa’s Backyard Chickens?

What Do Ottawans Really Think About Backyard Chickens?

In Ottawa, keeping chickens in a backyard is illegal. However, it is not prohibited in Gatineau. In fact, there were almost as many chicken permits issued in June as in the entire year. But there are still a lot of concerns that people have. Here are some of the concerns and opinions of residents.
The City of Ottawa has received a growing number of calls from residents about keeping chickens in their yards. City officials have warned residents about the risks of keeping chickens in their yards. First of all, chickens are known to attract pests and predators. Furthermore, people buying chicks might accidentally purchase roosters. In addition, chickens can also be carriers of zoonotic diseases.
While most people associate chickens with horror stories, this is not the case. Chickens are not meat birds, so the concerns surrounding keeping backyard chickens are the same as those with dogs and cats. In fact, chickens make far less noise than an average household dog. However, the concerns about the animals’ welfare should not discourage backyard chicken owners, as they can help to control pests. Nevertheless, it is important to note that bylaws can address the concerns of residents.
The bylaws regarding chicken keeping differ in Ottawa and in other cities in Ontario. Some municipalities allow the keeping of backyard chickens in urban areas while others forbid it. The city of Toronto, for example, launched the UrbanHensTO pilot program in March 2018. Unlike Ottawa, Toronto permits backyard chickens in one or two locations. However, roosters are prohibited in urban areas.
While the regulations are designed to address the concerns of backyard chicken owners, a number of residents have still chosen to keep chickens in their backyards. While chickens are not considered a pest, they are valuable pets that can live for years. For children, keeping chickens in the backyard also provides an opportunity to teach them about food.

What Do Ottawans Really Think About Backyard Chickens?

What Do Ottawans Really Think About Backyard Chickens?

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

 


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