Backyard Chicken Consultation

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Consultation has concluded. Thank you to everyone who participated during the consultation.

UPDATE - Consultation for this project has closed. Staff brought a related staff report to Committee of the Whole on March 25, 2021 recommending no changes to town policy at this time. Council approved the recommendation at its March 30, 2021 meeting. As a result, backyard chickens will remain prohibited in Wasaga Beach. Thank you to everyone who participated in our consultation.

Read the staff report.

Consultation information

Staff and members of Council have received several inquiries regarding the possibility of allowing backyard chickens on residential properties. On November 14th, 2019, Council directed staff to complete public consultation on whether backyard chickens should be permitted in the Town of Wasaga Beach, and if so, what regulations are necessary to implement the project.

While the keeping of livestock has generally been associated with Rural Zone properties and not residential properties in urban areas, some urban municipalities have recently established permissions for the keeping of backyard chickens (i.e. hens). Typically, this entails residents keeping several hens for the production of fresh eggs for their own use and not for resale.

Supporters of ‘backyard chickens’ have cited benefits related to sustainability, food quality, ethical animal treatment and alleviation of poverty. Those who oppose ‘backyard chickens’ have focused on concerns relating to disease, odour, noise and potential for attracting predators.

In addition amending the current Zoning and Animal Control By-laws, the following list summarizes the points of consideration needed if a ‘backyard chickens’ policy should be implemented in the Town of Wasaga Beach:

  • Rural lots vs Urban lots (settlement areas);

  • Minimum lot area and frontage for ‘backyard chickens’;

  • Maximum number of chickens permitted;

  • Licensing, registration and fees for chickens;

  • Clean yards and safe handling standards;

  • Manure management;

  • Minimum coop dimensions and setbacks;

  • Minimum range size, nesting areas, etc.;

  • Prohibition on slaughter;

  • Prohibition on roosters;

  • Prohibition on sale of products;

  • Fencing requirements;

  • Veterinary and health requirements; and,

  • Source Water Protection Areas.

Owning chickens is quite an undertaking that requires owners to commit to taking care of them. Under the Documents section, you will see an Educational Package that outlines the responsibilities of owning chickens. You will also find the applicable regulations from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and another document titled "Top 10 Chores Associated to Owning Chickens."

Would you like to own chickens for personal egg consumption? Would you like if your neighbour owned chickens for their own personal egg consumption? Share your thoughts with us by taking our survey below!


UPDATE - Consultation for this project has closed. Staff brought a related staff report to Committee of the Whole on March 25, 2021 recommending no changes to town policy at this time. Council approved the recommendation at its March 30, 2021 meeting. As a result, backyard chickens will remain prohibited in Wasaga Beach. Thank you to everyone who participated in our consultation.

Read the staff report.

Consultation information

Staff and members of Council have received several inquiries regarding the possibility of allowing backyard chickens on residential properties. On November 14th, 2019, Council directed staff to complete public consultation on whether backyard chickens should be permitted in the Town of Wasaga Beach, and if so, what regulations are necessary to implement the project.

While the keeping of livestock has generally been associated with Rural Zone properties and not residential properties in urban areas, some urban municipalities have recently established permissions for the keeping of backyard chickens (i.e. hens). Typically, this entails residents keeping several hens for the production of fresh eggs for their own use and not for resale.

Supporters of ‘backyard chickens’ have cited benefits related to sustainability, food quality, ethical animal treatment and alleviation of poverty. Those who oppose ‘backyard chickens’ have focused on concerns relating to disease, odour, noise and potential for attracting predators.

In addition amending the current Zoning and Animal Control By-laws, the following list summarizes the points of consideration needed if a ‘backyard chickens’ policy should be implemented in the Town of Wasaga Beach:

  • Rural lots vs Urban lots (settlement areas);

  • Minimum lot area and frontage for ‘backyard chickens’;

  • Maximum number of chickens permitted;

  • Licensing, registration and fees for chickens;

  • Clean yards and safe handling standards;

  • Manure management;

  • Minimum coop dimensions and setbacks;

  • Minimum range size, nesting areas, etc.;

  • Prohibition on slaughter;

  • Prohibition on roosters;

  • Prohibition on sale of products;

  • Fencing requirements;

  • Veterinary and health requirements; and,

  • Source Water Protection Areas.

Owning chickens is quite an undertaking that requires owners to commit to taking care of them. Under the Documents section, you will see an Educational Package that outlines the responsibilities of owning chickens. You will also find the applicable regulations from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and another document titled "Top 10 Chores Associated to Owning Chickens."

Would you like to own chickens for personal egg consumption? Would you like if your neighbour owned chickens for their own personal egg consumption? Share your thoughts with us by taking our survey below!