Free-range households: First 100 applicants receive licenses for Calgary’s urban chicken program – Calgary

One hundred Calgary households will soon be clucking with chickens as part of the Urban Hen Program.

With more than 200 applicants in less than two months, authorities held a lottery last week to choose the lucky residents who will have the opportunity to expand their families. According to city officials, those candidates were notified this week.

“After the council approved the urban hen scheme last year, they asked that we limit it to 100 households for the first year, and the application period just ended last week and we informed applicants lucky this week,” said Jennifer Lawlor, acting chief strategy officer. services with Calgary Community Standards for the City of Calgary, said Friday in an interview with 770CHQR.

“We wanted to make sure we were selecting people fairly, so we did a random draw of all applicants who completed their full application.”

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Lawlor said the city received a total of 204 applications, of which 134 were fully completed and eligible.

However, the city does not take possession of a hen lightly. Lawlor noted that residents wishing to add chickens to their homes must go through a number of steps before being entered into the draw.

“We asked for a site plan and details of accommodation and also asked that they undergo training in raising and caring for hens,” she said. “It’s really important for them to know how to take care of the hens, what to do if they are sick, how to make sure the coops are built in a way that prevents predators from entering and to make sure that they are not a nuisance to the community.”

The 100 residents who will receive these new permits will be the proud owners of a maximum of four hens, depending on the size of their property.

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“So generally people will be allowed to have two to four hens,” Lawlor said. “You need to have more than one, they need one or two buddies.

“There are instances where people might have more if they have bigger property in the city.”

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Lawlor added that residents who receive these licenses must follow specific steps to properly care for their new additions, including making sure their hens have a coop, proper heat source, ventilation adequate and an outdoor enclosure.

As for what residents can do with their chickens, Lawlor said people are encouraged to enjoy the benefits of owning these barnyard animals, including harvesting and selling their eggs.

“If people choose to donate or sell their eggs, they just need to make sure they follow state and federal guidelines in this regard,” she said.

Lawlor added that residents are not allowed to slaughter their chickens within the city limits.

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A waiting list of all additional applicants has also been created through the lottery system. Waitlisted applications may be processed in 2022 if those already contacted do not wish to obtain their license, or waitlisted applicants will instead be registered for admission of applications in 2023.

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Christy J. Olson