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Urban Hen License Application



 1.General Guidelines

a) Urban Hens will be a two year pilot project with a review after one year.

b) Coops shall be permitted in fenced, secure backyards only. There is no minimum fence height requirement but should protect against predation.

c) Chickens cannot be slaughtered or disposed of on a residential property.

d) The sale of eggs, meat & manure is prohibited. Urban hens are to be kept as pets and/or for personal egg consumption. They are not intended to be used for commercial purposes.

e) Participants will be warned once of any infraction. Any repeat infraction will be cause for fines in accordance with the Bylaw and may include revocation of license.

f) Anyone keeping Urban Hens must comply with all Provincial regulations around the keeping of hens. The Province of Alberta requires all owners of poultry (including small urban flocks) to register their flocks into the provincial database and obtain a Premise Identification (PID) Number.

 2. Application Process

A person seeking an Urban Hen License must complete the following process:

a) A pre-inspection must be completed by submitting a site plan to the Development Officer for review indicating the actual dimensions of the rear yard of the property and the proposed location and dimensions of the coop.

b) Comments from adjacent landowners will be sought by the Development Officer prior to approval of Urban Hen License. Adjacent landowners must have a valid reason for their objections.

c) Upon approval, the applicant must complete the Urban Hen License application.  Participants may then set up the Coop and notify the Development Officer who will arrange for a post-site inspection to ensure compliance. Cost of the license fee is $25.00.

3.Site Requirements and Coop Standards

a) Coops may only be located in backyards of properties that are completely fenced and secured. Chain link fencing may be required to have privacy slats installed on one or more sides of the fencing based on consultation with neighboring properties desires. Coop sites should take into consideration backyard locations that would minimize impact on adjacent landowners (away from any windows, furthest point from the building, etc.).

b) The henhouse is made of both a Coop (indoor space) and a run (enclosed outdoor space). An approved site may house only one Coop and Outdoor Enclosure and they must be located:

i.a minimum of 10 feet from a dwelling;

ii.a minimum of 3 feet from side or rear property line, and

iii.a minimum of 2.5 feet from any other buildings on the site;

iv.a minimum of 10 ft from any window;

c) The maximum Coop size cannot exceed 100 ft2 without a building permit for an accessory building. Minimum indoor Coop floor size is 4 ft2 per hen and 10 ft2 per hen of outdoor enclosure;

d) Height of Coop should not exceed rear fence height, excepting the peak portion of the Coop roof;

e) All Coops must contain sufficient perch locations, nest boxes, have adequate ventilation and be weather & predator proof. Coops do not need to be insulated unless over-wintering and then should have an adequate, approved heat source;

f) The Coop and Outdoor Enclosure must be fully enclosed (i.e. Fencing, chicken wire, roof covering) to provide hens secure access to exercise, sunlight, earth and vegetation. It is to be constructed to prevent escape and prevent entry by intruders/predators;

g) All hens must remain in the Coop or in the Outdoor Enclosure unless directly supervised by a person at least 14 years of age and they must stay on the permitted property;

4.Number of Hens 

a) The maximum number of Hens per residential property shall be four (4);The minimum number of Hens per residential property shall be two (2);

b)Roosters and chicks are not permitted;

5.Care of Hens

a) Consideration shall be given to which breeds of Hens are best suited for Sexsmith climate;

b) Hen waste can be bagged and disposed of along with your weekly household garbage;

c) Manure that is intended for backyard composting or fertilizing must be kept within a fully enclosed structure or compost bin and no more than three cubic feet (0.085m3) of manure can be stored at a time;

d) Proper care and feeding practices must be followed to ensure the well-being of the Hens. This includes providing each Hen with food, water, shelter, light, ventilation, veterinary care and opportunities for essential behaviors such as scratching, dust-bathing and roosting;

e) Thorough, complete cleaning of walls and perches, removal of all bedding and disinfecting of coop and furnishings should be done at least once a year to reduce presence of unwanted pests;

All feed is to be kept in airtight, rodent-proof containers and any spilled/uneaten food should be removed; Hens should be kept in their Coop between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. as this helps with both noise mitigation and keeping the hens safe;

Click here to obtain an Urban Hen License Application.

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