What should have come first, the chicken or the by-law?
As taxes are collected at districts in Cowichan, the city of Duncan is asking residents for their opinions on a potentially clucky topic.
A handful of homeowners in Duncan keep backyard chickens, even though there is no by-law governing that kind of activity.
City Councillor Martin Barker grew up on a farm and believes chickens don't belong in urban settings. The push to get a by-law passed, he believes, is being driven by people who already have chickens in Duncan.
“There’s quite a few people with chickens, admittedly there’s a couple people who are keeping their chickens well, a couple of people who are not keeping their chickens well.”
However, he said there have been complaints in the past.
“Chickens, if they’re not cared for properly will create smell. They bring pest, rodents and predators in greater quantities.”
And he argues, they’re noisy.
Councillor Michelle Bell believes there are good reasons to create a by-law allowing backyard chickens.
“Nowadays, people are really conscious about… food sustainability is a big issue, so people want the opportunity to have their own food and know where it comes from, so it’s mostly about sustainability.”
Duncan residents had until July 3 to submit feedback on backyard chickens. The city is set to review the comments and then decide whether to write a by-law.
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