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Exciting news for all those North Vancouverites who have long wanted the taste of fresh North Vancouver eggs!

On September 17th, 2012 the city of North Vancouver amended city bylaws to allow for up to 8 hens in one unit residential zones. No registration or permitting is required, but our plucky rooster friends are still prohibited.

Keeping backyard hens is a fantastic pursuit, and this is quite a step forward for urban agriculture in North Vancouver. An increasing number of people have become interested in backyard hens for a whole host of motivations!

So why should you consider keeping hens in your backyard?

– Hens are a wonderful addition to your backyard production cycle, as hens will eat organic food scraps and produce organic manure for your vegetable beds! This means you can cut down on the externalities you have to bring into your garden.

– Backyard hens lay healthier eggs for you and your family. Ann Pacey, director of Village Vancouver, explains that due to the increased exercise backyard hens get, the hens actually lay eggs higher in omega 3 fatty acids.

– Keeping hens in your back yard increases North Vancouver’s food resiliency, and decreases our level of dependence on external factors and the industrialized food system.

– Feeding and caring for your backyard hens means you have greater knowledge, participation and control over your food consumption.

– Keeping hens raises awareness of urban agriculture, and gets people talking. Any act which can bring consumers closer to their food is positive!

– Improved animal welfare: keeping backyard hens reduces reliance on factory farmed eggs.

– Caring for your backyard hens can serve as a family and community bonding activity, and many of the tasks required to care for chickens can easily be done by children.

– But most importantly, keeping backyard hens means fresh organic eggs right on your doorstep! Hens can lay up to one egg a day!

But before you decide to roost up, there are a few things you should know.

Firstly, does your home qualify? Check out the map below to see if your residence is included in the one unit residential zone (the yellow lots on the map).

Next, it is important to educate yourself about backyard hens, and how to take care of them. Luckily there is a wealth of information on the internet, however, check out the collection of links below which should cover the most important issues.

General Chicken Information: basic care, coops, pens

Chicken Disease Prevention and Detection

Humane Considerations for your Chickens

Backyard Chicken Resource Sheet