Smiths Falls decides not to allow laying chickens in town

May 17, 2018 by

Hen Poultry Chicken Farm Livestock Free RangeA Smiths Falls resident who was hoping to raise egg laying chickens is out of luck.

The town has decided to deny an exemption to the Animal control by-law that would allow chickens in residential areas.

When the request was brought to council a couple of weeks ago, staff were asked to report on the pros and cons of allowing chickens in town.  After some scrambling staff found there were more cons than pros to the proposal.

From the Health Unit’s perspective, backyard chickens pose a health risk if they’re not properly housed, diligently cleaned and cared for.

They can be a source of serious disease, noise, odour and pests and are definitely not allowed on waterfront properties where water run-off contaminated with hen droppings  can foul up surface water.

Chickens in residential neigbourhoods would have to be inspected and policed adding an additional burden on by-law enforcement and driving up costs to the town.

So for now Council has decided that it’s best to keep the chickens out of town.