Will chickens soon rule the roost in Saskatoon backyards?

Click to play video: 'Pilot project aims to put chickens in Saskatoon backyards'
Pilot project aims to put chickens in Saskatoon backyards
WATCH ABOVE: Bridge City Chickens wants Saskatoon city council to approve a pilot project that would have chickens placed in 30 backyards. – Mar 20, 2017

As the price of groceries continue to climb, so does interest in urban farming. But beyond fruits and vegetables, many are turning their attention to chickens and eggs as a sustainable and secure food source.

This includes Bridge City Chickens. The group, with almost 200 hundred members on its Facebook page, is presenting a proposal to the city for an urban hen pilot project.

READ MORE: Calgary residents keep hens despite anti-chicken bylaw

It’s partnering with University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing assistant Prof. Dr. Wanda Martin, who has studied urban hens and their role in food security.

“People really want to have hens because they can teach their kids about where food comes from and where it’s produced. We’re so disconnected from our food systems,” Martin said.

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Martin said eggs from backyard chickens are nutritionally superior to those from industrial ones and the chickens provide a therapeutic and social role in the owner’s life.

If the pilot project gets the green light, it will last 18 months, after which the outcomes will be assessed by Martin and filed in a report to Saskatoon city council.

The pilot will include 30 households, each restricted to three to five hens and no roosters. The houses will be picked based on a number of factors, including a letter of support from their community association and support from neighbors.

“We would offer training program and you’d be paired with a mentor who has experience,” Martin said.

READ MORE: City forces woman to get rid of backyard chickens

The pilot project is backed by the Saskatoon SPCA, who will be monitoring the coops.

“Chickens take a lot of specialized care, you want to have people taking proper care of them. This pilot makes sure that anyone who wants to participate has the training and support to make sure things are done right,” SPCA executive director Patricia Cameron explained on Thursday.

“A couple of decades ago urban chickens were the norm in many communities, but that’s when people knew what they were doing,” Cameron added.

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Bridge City Chickens is hoping the new batch of city councillors will provide a fresh opportunity for approval. The idea has been shut down in the past.

READ MORE: Vaudreuil latest Quebec city to join backyard chicken coop trend

Legally, you’re allowed to keep chickens in your yard in Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Surrey, Montreal, Gatineau, Moncton and Whitehorse.

Martin and Bridge City Chickens will be presenting their proposal to the standing policy committee on planning, development and community services on April 3.

WATCH BELOW: Will chickens soon rule the roost in Saskatoon backyards? One local group is hoping to get approval from city council for a pilot project.

Click to play video: 'A Saskatoon group is bringing the issue of backyard chickens back to life'
A Saskatoon group is bringing the issue of backyard chickens back to life

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