Allow Backyard Chickens in Picture Butte

Allow Backyard Chickens in Picture Butte

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Jennifer Bowden started this petition to Picture Butte Town Council

Please sign this petition to have the Animal Regulation Bylaw (Section # 3), “Keeping livestock within the town,” amended to allow for a small, well-cared-for flock of Hens. Please note that this bylaw change would not make allowances for roosters (the noisy male birds that wake you up in the early morning hours)- Hens only. 

A note from Jen (a Picture Butte resident who is having her chickens taken away this week):

My family has lived in Picture Butte for four amazing years, and my very first month here, I contacted the town with eager anticipation to ask the question I’m asking again now:

“Can I have chickens?

With spacious lots, a small-town feel, and rural farmland surrounding it, Picture Butte seemed the perfect place to cultivate urban agriculture in the form of our own little flock.

Fast forward to the spring of 2020, and the outbreak of Covid19, and my desire for urban hens became almost insatiable (just ask my poor husband). Hans finally relented and built me the most beautiful little coop – with an enclosed run, so that the chickens have their own separate space to roam in our backyard.

This week, we are having to re-home our chickens- A tragedy that many homes in Picture Butte are going to be faced with as the town, somewhat begrudgingly, works to enforce a bylaw that the town has clearly outgrown.

Backyard hens are now legal in Calgary as “therapy animals,” and that’s exactly what chickens are to the families in Picture Butte who own them- therapy from all the stress of life, especially in these uncertain pandemic times. The process of collecting perfectly round brown eggs, and watching the hens dig about and ruffle their feathers is stress relief at its finest. Of course, we could put on our gloves, and collect our eggs at the grocery store. But at this point, it seems like a truly inferior option.

Those who have chickens in Picture Butte have found them to be:

Quiet- they make a barely audible noise, and you certainly wouldn’t be able to hear them at all from more than 10 feet away.

Easy to clean up after- old bedding makes great compost for our gardens!

Easily contained- A fully-enclosed run keeps predators from thinking of chickens as a source of food, and therefore from frequenting the area around the coop (and the town in general).  

Certain chicken breeds are also known to help control insects (such as flies). Wouldn’t that be heaven in Picture Butte?

Of course, we appreciate that the town has a livestock bylaw because it can protect us from sound pollution, etc. For example, keeping a rooster is very different than keeping hens. However, if our bylaw were amended to allow for a small, well-cared-for flock of Hens- no Roosters- there's no doubt that the town would be better because of it. 

Please share this petition with your neighbours and friends living in Picture Butte. Together, we can make this much-needed change in our bylaw.  

Thank you so much for joining.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!