Allow backyard chickens in Carleton Place

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I respectfully request the Carleton Place Town Council and Bylaw consider and find that a small number of hens kept properly confined in their owners yard be deemed household pets, and therefore permitted.

Across the country, urban and suburban areas are allowing small backyard flocks of hens. Backyard chickens are currently allowed in Guelph (since 1985), Kingston (since 2011), Kitchener (2016), Newmarket (2016), Russell, Brampton, North Dumfries, Niagara Falls, Caledon, Orillia (2017), Spring Water, Tecumseh, Vancouver, Victoria, Airdrie, North folk, Orangeville, Georgina, Gatineu, City of Toronto, Brockville, Whitewater region, Clearview, South Dundas, Woodstock, Qunite West, Cramahe Township, Deep River Beckwith township, and Smiths Falls.  

Many of these cities and towns allows up to six hens to be kept, provided they are licensed, confined to a coop, at least 4 months old, no roosters are kept and the coops are a certain distance from any dwellings located on an abutting property.

Common concerns raised at these places when introduced were that chickens need a lot of work, need a lot of room, are noisy, smelly, dirty and attract rats.  These concerns are not accurate and many cities or towns that allow hens or that are running pilots are reporting no complaints of such.  As an example Carl Bandow of Toronto animal services, who oversees the city of Toronto pilot tells The Star in the article "Backyard hens not the scourge some predicted" that half way through the four-year pilot there have not be any complaints about noise or unsanitary conditions in any of the locations.

Hens properly kept in a yard are comparable to rabbits in terms of care, and to both rabbits and dogs in terms of housing. An adult hen only requires 2-4 square feet of pen, compared to about 7-10 square feet for a rabbit or 30-50 square feet for a dog.

Hens are very quiet and do not make noise like a rooster.  Hens are registered at 60-70 decibels which is comparable to the level of a normal human conversation and can be heard from 1-4 meters away.   They are very clean animals and will occasionally give themselves 'dirt baths' but this is actually in order for them to preen their feathers and keep themselves cool and clean.  Chickens are fed in coops that have tight wiring to keep pest and predator's out.  From time to time they might kick some feed out but local birds quickly clean it up. Many people have bird feeders in their backyards with similar feed and do not have issues with rats. 

Owners of pet hens prize them for their tame, friendly and entertaining personalities, but also because they can play a part in a greener lifestyle. They are a wonderful learning tool for children. They naturally control insect pests such as ticks, eat vegetable scraps, improve the lawn and even provide eggs for the table. Owners refer to their pets as urban chickens or city chickens.  

With the Covid-19 pandemic is upon us, countless Ontarians, including Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Ford have voiced their concerns about food security (food shortages). During this period, any attempt at self sustainability should be rewarded, not banned.

I encourage the Town Council of Carleton Place to amend the bylaws and consider running a 3-4 year pilot to see how backyard chickens could benefit our community.

In an era of waste reduction and self-sustainability, I would imagine that any municipality would be glad to adopt such a measure and reduce the restrictions on local homeowners.

If you live in Carleton Place please join our cause and show your support. 

Update: Don't forget to fill in the correct address information as some are reporting it as coming up incorrectly.  Although we love all the support only numbers from CarletonPlace residents will be considered.

DO NOT GIVE MONEY to if it. asks please.  We just want support.


John and Kelly