New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Chickens ‘Still’ in Soup


Thirty years ago, the headline in the first issue of ‘City Farmer’ (our newspaper) was ‘Chickens in Soup’, a story about a Vancouver woman who was in trouble with municipal authorities for keeping chickens in her back yard. Recently the subject has popped up multiple times across North America.

Just before Christmas, Canada’s ‘As it Happens’ a national radio show, interviewed an Ann Arbor, Michigan Council Member who was championing the right of city residents to keep chickens.

Last week I received a call from CBC TV in Halifax asking me what I thought about a woman in that Atlantic city who had to send her urban chickens away to a farm in the country. Yesterday, a journalist in New Westminster, BC called wanting me to comment on a fellow in that city in trouble because of his fowl flock.

Once again the ‘country’ is trying to make inroads in the city but without success.

Below are links to articles which I’m finding almost weekly.

Poultry in motion: Chickens adopting urban lifestyle. You can raise them in New York but not here. Toronto locavores are hoping to change that
May 04, 2008 Toronto Star

Halifax family runs afoul of poultry police “Blecha surveyed 21 cities in Canada and found that only four allowed chickens: Brampton and London in Ontario, and Surrey and Victoria in British Columbia. In contrast, the U.S. allows chickens in 53 cities.”

A chicken & egg argument:
A suburban Halifax family fined $500 and ordered to get rid of their 13 pet chickens says HRM is making much a-cock-a-doodle-do about nothing

Urban agriculture big news in zero-mile-diet world

The New Westminster article here: ‘Playing chicken with the city’.

The Halifax article here: ‘Neighbour balks at backyard chickens’.

The Ann Arbor article here: ‘Chickens in Ann Arbor backyards?’.

City Farmer’s article from 1978 here: ‘Chickens in Soup’.

Read about ‘City Chickens 101′, a class in Seattle, Washington. “You will leave this class with everything you need to know to start raising chickens in your own backyard.”

And even in Powassan, Ontario, a rural town of maybe 1000
people, farm animals are not wanted. Read: ‘Zoning proposal likely to raise feathers’.

Backyard Chickens I (Farming in the City III)
Meet Bucky Buckaw – a backyard-chicken expert and Host of Bucky Buckaw’s Backyard Chicken Broadcast. Also meet Christoph Martens – a subversive backyard chickener who raises chickens within the city limits of Nelson, British Columbia. While City Bylaw #2333 prohibits the raising of poultry, Martens won’t let such an environmentally irresponsible bylaw get in the way of his path to greater self-sufficiency.

Hatching Plans for Urban Egg Producers


1 HeatherHillary { 10.08.08 at 2:47 pm }

Sadly, Chickens are NOT allowed in the City of Surrey BC unless you have an acre or more lot size. We are going to try our hardest to change this, however. Please join our fight to allow City Chickens in Surrey! To overturn this zoning rule, we need to contact the Surrey BC Mayor and Council in writing, and email is fine. Please help if you can by writing to them at this address :

Thank you!

2 Donna Haworth { 06.27.11 at 7:18 am }

Is this fight still on? I would love to see chickens in Surrey on standard lot sizes. People have to learn how to sustain themselves on the 100 mile diet. What about raising fish in your backyard? This is being perfected in Australia. Plant fruit and nut trees everywhere, and people won’t starve. Use grapevines, and current bushes for fencing. Raise bees. We have to get going if we want to be able to turn the tide of lack of knowledge about how to survive, that has taken over our children. They are buying housing with short lifespan, not land that is an investment that continues.