Innisfail resident calling for Town to allow urban chickens

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
May 17, 2018 - 2:00pm

Innisfail residents could be hearing a lot more clucking if one resident gets her way.

Lisa Reid, who’s lived in the town since 1999, presented to council this week proposing to allow urban chickens.

She says other municipalities like Red Deer and Lacombe allow it, so why not Innisfail?

“They're a great thing for little kids to learn some responsibility, and they’re great for reducing waste in the landfill,” she says. “Anything starting to go bad in your fridge, give it to the birds, except for avocado and citrus fruits.”

Reid has had four hens – whom she’s named Kentucky, Crispy, Fried and Baked – for the last seven years. Despite their delicious names, she says the only thing she eats is their eggs.

“I didn’t even know it was illegal in the town,” she says. “It just came to my attention, and we built our house here a year and a half ago. They talk in the moring, but they're not loud."

Reid says she hasn’t had any complaints from neighbours, but recently received a visit from a bylaw officer. After explaining to the Town that the hens are her pets, she was given a reprieve until council can properly debate a bylaw.

Reid was told that would happen this summer or in the fall, though a spokesperson for the Town couldn’t confirm a solid timeline.

Council has asked staff to compile a report on urban chicken rules in other municipalities.

City of Red Deer regulations include no roosters, a maximum of four hens per license, and a maximum of 65 permits available annually. Hens must also be kept inside their coop, maintain good health and be for personal use only. License-holders cannot sell eggs, manure, or meat, and they cannot slaughter the chickens on their property.

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