Urban Hen Program

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urban hensThe City of Lacombe has adopted an Urban Hen Bylaw 419, which allows residents to keep hens on their property as part a year-long pilot project (July 2016 to July 2017).

To ensure that this project is safe, humane and enjoyable, there are specific terms and conditions that must be met before permits are issued to approved applicants.

Please note that only 10 permits are available for this program, and will issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

As part of the application process, and in accordance with Bylaw 419 section 8(c), the City will consult with the applicant’s neighbours to determine their support for the application. Once the application has been reviewed, and if approved, the City will contact the applicant with their license number.

To apply, download the Urban Hen License Application here.


Terms and Conditions

Site Requirements

  • Property on which the hens will be kept contains a detached or semi‐detached dwelling.
  • Hen owners must reside on the property on which the hens would be kept.
  • Hens are kept for personal use only.
  • Coop sites should take into consideration backyard locations that would minimize impacts to adjacent neighbours (i.e. away from bedroom windows, furthest point from building, etc.) and located no less than 0.9 metres from the side and rear boundaries.

Number of Hens and Coop Size

  • The maximum number of residential properties where hens are allowed is 10.
  • Size of brood is limited to a maximum of 4 hens.
  • Hens must be at least 16 weeks of age.
  • Roosters are not permitted.
  • Hens must be contained within a hen coop and an enclosed outer area. The total size of the coop and outside area is 10 square metres.The coop must not exceed a height of 2.4 metres.
  • A minimum of 0.37 square metres per hen is required for the coop, along with a minimum of 0.92 square meters per hen of outdoor enclosure.

Conditions

  • The site and hen coop must be properly maintained to prevent nuisances; including but not limited to attracting animals, the spread of food over the property, and excessive smells or noise.

Animal Welfare

  • Hen sites shall adhere to good management and husbandry practices; hen owners shall maintain hens in such a condition so as to prevent distress, disease, and welfare issues.
  • Hens require appropriate food, liquid (unfrozen) water, shelter, light, warmth, ventilation, veterinary care and opportunities for essential behaviours such as scratching, pecking, dust‐bathing and roosting in order to be comfortable and healthy.
  • Enforcement Services must be notified immediately of any disease or welfare issues that may affect the public, and be informed of the steps taken to rectify the situation.

Waste & Disposal

  • Owners must ensure the coop and enclosed area is cleaned and the manure properly composed or disposed of.
  • Dead hens must be properly disposed of by sending corpses to an abattoir, farm or designated veterinarian.
  • Enforcement Services must be notified of any change in brood size.

Inspections

  • Hen owners shall make their hens and coops available for inspection on reasonable request from Lacombe Enforcement Services.

Annual Registration

  • A $50 fee to be paid at time of submitting an application.
  • Owner will be subject to an annual license renewal for their brood and coop.
  • Owner’s hens must be registered within 30 days of ownership with the Province through the Premise Identification Number (PID) and meet all Federal and Provincial legislation requirements.

For more information regarding the Urban Hen Program, please call the City of Lacombe at 403-782-6666.