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City closer to allowing backyard hens

Backyard chicken coops may soon be allowed in Grande Prairie, but with a limit to who can have them. Enforcement Services Manager Chris Manuel explains that if someone meets all the requirements for the proposed Livestock Exemption Permit, they could be one of the ten households to be allowed to have the hens.

The requirements include sizing of the coop, neighbourhood notification as well as location in the yard. Each household would be allowed a maximum of four chickens and a license would be needed for each at a cost of $10 each.

Manuel says if the permit change goes ahead, the city would look into how it is working with the ten chicken coops in the fall of 2018.

“After a period of basically a year, we would have a good indication through four seasons what the impacts could be in the community, whether there were problems and whether we should expand that number.”

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Rebecka Keyes with Grande Prairie Urban Hens says that only having the ability to have ten coops in the city is too small of a number.

“That is a little disappointing from a Grande Prairie Urban Hen’s perspective. I am sure people are aware that there are probably at least ten people that have hens currently. If anyone attended the open house in March, there were a lot of people interested in doing that.”

Keyes says she would have preferred an initial trial number of upwards of 25 or more being allowed in the city. City council will review the permit and the number of households allowed to get them on Tuesday, August 8th at the council meeting.

Although hens would be allowed with the proposed permit, roosters will not be allowed within city limits.

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