Peterborough city council bans backyard chickens

On Monday night, city council voted against the animal bylaw that allows backyard chickens in the city.

A city staff report recently suggested that in order to allow urban hen houses to operate in town, the city would need to spend $50,000 a year to have the Humane Society monitor the coops.

Last week, councillor Henry Clarke said that was just too costly.

READ MORE: Backyard hen house prohibition planned for Peterborough

Prior to Monday’s vote, residents came forward with some of their concerns and some felt the report needs to be reevaluated.

“I feel that the cost provided to council is indeed notable. $50,000 for a chicken coop is an awfully expensive chicken coop,” said Peterborough resident Colin Cassin.

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“Unfortunately to this preface report appears to be strongly biased against backyard hens, and from my reading, seems to be under-researched with no references and no regard for the successful regulations that have been imposed by other municipalities across the province,” said resident, Andrea Maxie.

READ MORE: Toronto considers lifting ban on backyard chickens


A report put together by the Humane Society of Peterborough suggests that chickens belong in rural environments where they can express their full innate chicken nature however, a group called the Backyard Chickens of Peterborough disagrees.

“I must say that it struck the Backyards Chickens of Peterborough group as rather Pollyanna to imagine that rural chickens are living out the long free-run lives they enjoy in backyards,” said Natalie Napier, a representative from Backyard Chickens of Peterborough. “As any farmer, or even consumer of chicken meat, should be able to tell you, chicken lives are pretty cheap these days.”

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