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City considering fowl request

City residents who’ve always dreamed of keeping a chicken coop in their backyard may be in luck. City council was approached during last night’s regular meeting about the possibility of legislating backyard chickens.

Councillor Chris Thiessen says he is a big fan of the idea and has been hoping to see it come before council for a while now.

“I’ve been begging people around the community who have come to me with this issue saying ‘Hey maybe we should have backyard coops or chickens running around our yard,” and I’ve encouraged as many people as many people as possible to do so. It’s the right step in the direction of sustainability.”

Grande Prairie is nowhere near the first municipality to consider a policy on urban chicken coops. Thiessen says he thinks we are actually a bit behind the times on this

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“There’s several municipalities that I have talked to over this past weekend that said that they’ve had this for years so I think it’s about time that we brought chickens forward. We’re bringing bees forward, we’re bringing sustainable food growth forward so we might as well bring the whole farm to Grande Prairie.”

There is still much discussion to be had on the subject at the committee level but Thiessen says he has put quite a bit of consideration in the necessary regulations for a backyard chicken policy.

“You’ve definitely got to have some kind of agreement with your neighbors to ensure that they’re going to be okay with you having chickens. Most people don’t ask for permission to have a dog in their backyard but chickens are a little bit of a different story. You have to ensure that the community is okay with that and just ensure no animals are being mistreated and where they are housed and laying their eggs is suitable.”

In the meantime, the conversation on allowing chicken coops in the city has been deferred to a Community Safety committee meeting.

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