City of Calgary ‘hatches’ urban hen licensing program for another year

Click to play video: '‘It’s been lovely and not stinky’: Okotoks chicken owners praise Calgary’s urban hen rules'
‘It’s been lovely and not stinky’: Okotoks chicken owners praise Calgary’s urban hen rules
Starting March 29, Calgarians can apply for an urban hen livestock licence to keep backyard hens. Carolyn Kury de Castillo spoke with local chicken owners who have been harbouring birds long before it was legal – Mar 21, 2022

The City of Calgary is launching its urban hen licensing program under the updated Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw after a successful pilot project last year.

The pilot, which launched in March last year, allowed 100 people to keep backyard hens.

This year, however, the city has decided to release an unlimited number of licences due to high demand.

Calgarians who meet the following criteria can apply for an urban livestock licence to keep backyard hens:

  • be at least 18 years old or have a parent or guardian apply on their behalf
  • complete the approved hen-keeping and care training
  • own the property hens will be kept on or have written permission from the property owner
  • acquire a free Premise Identification Number from the Government of Alberta
  • hens must be kept in groups of two to four because they are group animals
  • must contact the city’s planning and development department to discuss where the coop will be built in their backyards
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“We heard from Calgarians that modern pet ownership means more than just caring for cats and dogs,” said Tara Decker, coordinator of administration and pet licensing for the city’s animal services.

“The rules are designed to mitigate concerns before they start — things like not allowing roosters, and ensuring proper housing, training, care conditions and opportunities to address any concerns from your community.”

Those interested can visit the city of Calgary website for more information

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