‘Egg’citing news for hen owners

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

High Prairie residents can now keep chickens on their property.

Hens, that is, but not roosters, after council passed its Hen Keeping Bylaw July 14.

The issue arose Jan. 28 when council discussed possibly allowing the fine-feathered foul in town. Previously, chickens, turkeys, geese and/or goose, fowl or poultry of any kind was not permitted unless part of a commercial undertaking.

Council asked the Mackenzie Municipal Services Agency to conduct a survey. Of the 189 responses, 76.5 per cent said “yes” while 23.5 per cent said “no”.

Interested people in having chickens on their property must pay a $10 annual licensing fee. A maximum of only four hens are allowed on each property and the property owner must also reside on the property.

Residents are not allowed to keep roosters, not sell chicken, meat or manure or other products associated with hens kept on their property, or slaughter such hens.

Residents must also notify all neighbours within 300 feet of their desire to keep the birds.

Other rules are available from the town office. There are strict rules regarding hen enclosures.

The bylaw is a two-year pilot project which will be monitored closely by council.

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