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Chickens in the urban environment: the pleasure of reconnecting with nature

Several Quebec municipalities have changed their regulations to allow their citizens to have some chickens in urbans areas.

And if your enthusiasm for chickens in urban areas does not comply with the regulations of your municipality… Is that good or bad news? 

Drummondville, Mascouche, Sorel-Tracy, Chambly, Carignan, Terrebonne, Gatineau, and the list continues. Chickens are truly back in town all over Quebec!

To be able to form an opinion, let us demystify the subject of chickens in urban areas.


Chickens in Urban Areas: A Source of Noise?

False! One of the fears among people who are opposed to having chickens in urban areas is undoubtedly the noise. It is true that to be awakened by a « cock-a-doodle-doo » at three o’clock in the morning is not desirable! However, there is no need to fear that situation, since only roosters can sing.

Municipal regulations have thought ahead: it is forbidden to have a rooster in an urban area! No rooster, no noise! The cackling of a few chickens is certainly not a sound to be dreaded for the neighbors, especially in big cities; unfortunately, noise pollution will bury the soft sound of two cackling chickens.

Bad Odor 

No more than a cat or a dog! Cleaning the henhouse two to three times per week (changing the straw, wood ripe and peat moss) is sufficient to prevent odors in the neighborhood. If you decide (and you have your city’s permission) to have a few chickens, you will need to care for them just as you would any other pet. The maintenance of the hen house is essential for the well-being of the chickens!


Owning a Few Chickens Will Cost Close to Nothing

It is important to be well informed before embarking on this type of adventure; the start-up cost can indeed startle you! You will need an urban henhouse that respects city laws and that will be comfortable and safe for your chickens in the summer and in the winter. Next is the cost of the equipment needed for maintenance and cleaning, along with the cost of food, nutritional supplements, and veterinary care if one of your chickens gets sick. 

Several companies offer a turnkey package. Poc Poc,is one of them. Poc Poc is a company that was founded by Étienne Lapierre and Alexandre Mc Lean of Alvéole. You will find all the information you need regarding their packages by visiting their website and Indiegogo.


The Lifetime of a Chicken is Rather Short 

Once again, fake. A happy chicken can live up to fourteen years! If you want to have good fresh eggs throughout the week, be aware that chickens begin to lay eggs at around 20 weeks and will continue to lay eggs on a regular basis until the age of three. Spawning will decrease by about 20% per year and your chickens will stop laying eggs at the age of eight. 

You will have several years to love your chickens! Warm and very sociable, they will surely surprise you.

There Are No Predators in the City

Although there are fewer predators in the city than in the country, it is wrong to assume that your chickens will not be at risk. The most common predators in urban areas are rats and raccoons. In the city, they manage to feed on your waste and those of restaurants, among others, but they will not hesitate to attack your chickens if they are hungry. Stray dogs, birds of prey and humans (yes, you read that correctly!) are the other predators to be feared in urban areas

Your chickens should be able to take shelter if they are in danger. To prevent dogs and other animals from digging a hole and attacking your chickens, fences around the enclosures must be at least one foot underground. 


I Don’t Have Time to Care for My Chickens

Owning chickens is relatively simple; you will need to spend about an hour a day feeding them, cleaning the henhouse and providing them with the necessary care. It is recommended to feed them and see that they have fresh water twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, and to check if they are safe for the night. 

Before making any decisions, make sure you have someone who can care for your chickens if you need to be away for more than two days (emergencies, vacations, etc.).

Having One Single Chicken

Chickens are very sociable animals; a lone chicken is a sad chicken. It is ideal to own three or four chickens in the urban environment, depending on the size of your henhouse and your enclosure.

However, remember that each chicken will lay an average of one egg per day… If you have four chickens, the number of eggs rises to 28 per week! This is a lot for a family of two adults and two children, but these eggs will allow you to build relationships with neighbors who would like to receive free fresh eggs (the sale of eggs is prohibited). 


Find out more about your city’s regulations regarding the ownership of chickens in urban areas and perhaps you will be the cause of a new law being passed allowing people in your city to have a few chickens in their backyard?

The web is full of information about chickens in urban areas!