Backyard Chickens

Certain municipalities have specific by-laws limiting the number of chickens homeowners can have on their property. There may also be rules on chicken coop construction, location, disposal of dead chickens and storage of feed.

Contact your city / town to find out what by-laws may be in place where you live.

Public health recommendations

To reduce the risk of human infection related to backyard chickens, owners should:

  • Wash hands after handling birds
  • Wear dedicated shoes, gloves and clothing for cleaning the coops
  • Provide appropriate housing for the flock; make sure it's easy to clean, secure from predators and other animals, has adequate space per bird and adequate ventilation
  • Remove manure, bedding and feed regularly to reduce bacterial growth, flies, and a food source for rodents
  • Get veterinary help when birds are ill or there's clusters of bird deaths
  • Store poultry food in rodent-proof containers
  • Not bring poultry inside of the house
  • Compost poultry manure properly before using as fertilizer
  • Dispose of dead birds promptly and not slaughter poultry in the home
  • Clean and sanitize equipment often
  • Refrain from kissing and snuggling live poultry, and not touching one's mouth, eating or drinking around the chickens


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