FAQ: Urban Hen Keeping

Will wildlife be attracted to the hens in the area and cause a problem in my neighborhood?

Raising backyard chickens increases the likelihood of wildlife becoming a problem. The issue tends to be with the environment that the chickens are kept. 

"Privacy fence" means a solid fence with a continuous height permitted by Land Use Bylaw.

Will the smell of chickens and manure cause a problem in my neighbourhood? What steps do I take if it becomes a nuisance?

Chickens are very clean animals. They will occasionally give themselves "dirt baths" but this is for them to preen their feathers and keep themselves clean and cool. Their droppings usually do not smell. The droppings are easily hosed off and break down into an excellent fertilizer for the lawn. Just like all pets and animals, chickens need responsible owners to keep the area tidy and clean out their living space.

The waste is also required to be contained in a sealed, animal proof container which will mitigate any smell.

A part of the process is notifying my neighbour. What if my neighbour doesn’t want me to have backyard hens? 

If your neighbour doesn’t want backyard hens, it doesn’t mean you will not be accepted into the program.   

How do I dispose of my chickens if they get sick or die?

Disposal will be through regular waste. 

What if I no longer want my chickens, what do I do with them?

If you no longer want your chickens, there are agencies or farms that you can reach out to re-home your chickens.

Where do I dispose of the chicken manure?

You can dispose of chicken manure in a similar way as disposing of cat litter. Double bagging and bringing the waste to the landfill is accepted.

Are chickens noisy?

Hens are one of the quietest domestic animals. Hens have about the same decibel level as a human conversation and are much quieter than a dog barking. They cluck softly from time to time and will often cluck to let you know they recently laid an egg, which occurs inside a hen house. Unless they are in danger, they do not squawk. They sleep at night just as people do and are completely quiet from dusk to dawn. 

Is there a protocol for quarantining sick hens?

All hen owners are required to obtain a Premise Identification Number (PID) through Alberta Agriculture. This number tracks all properties that have birds and will alert owners in the event of an outbreak. They will advise on the steps to take in the event of an outbreak.

Can humans or domesticated pets (dogs and cats) get diseases from chickens?

Yes. Salmonella and Campylobacter are the two most common communicable bacterial diseases. Proper biosecurity measures will help prevent the spread of diseases. This topic will be discussed in the mandatory backyard chicken courses.

Questions Regarding Golf Carts

In recent months, the Village has fielded a number of inquiries about golf carts being allowed on the roads within Spring Lake.

In the Province of Alberta prohibits the use of miniature vehicles on roads.  Golf carts are considered a miniature vehicle and therefore is prohibited to be driven on any road within Alberta including within the Village of Spring Lake.  Please see the following reference link below.

If you have any concerns regarding the use of golf carts within the Village, please contact Parkland Enforcement Services 780-968-8400

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