With backyard gardening, self-sustainable agriculture and local foods all the rage in Vancouver, it’s no wonder that thousands of Vancouverites are flocking (pun intended) to urban chickens. You don’t have to drive over the Port Mann bridge to Abbotsford for a taste of the country. In fact, you can raise chickens right in downtown Vancouver!
From the suburbs of Surrey and New Westminster to the urban districts of Kitsilano and East Hastings, we’re hearing from many of the city’s residents who are thinking of raising chickens.
But not so fast.
Before importing your own flock of hens downtown, make sure you’ve got your bases covered. Based on emails and tweets that we’ve gotten, here are the five things every backyard hobbyist (or condo enthusiast) needs to know before raising chickens in Vancouver:
1. You Don’t Need Very Many Chickens
The City of Vancouver’s bylaws allow up to four hens per lot and no roosters. This might not seem like very many chickens, but keep in mind that each hen will lay one egg per day. That means you could be getting up to four eggs per day. Many British Columbia residents are turning this hobby into a lucrative money-making machine, selling fresh, local eggs for upwards of $6 per dozen. With chicken feed not being very expensive, these urban chickens are quickly paying for themselves!
Best of all, four chickens do not need very much room. This premium chicken villa, available conveniently from Amazon.ca, includes two removable roosts, a free-ranged section and a covered porch. It will look great in a backyard in Langley or a side lot in North Vancouver! Click here to check out the positive reviews and see other coops available on Amazon.
2. Think Outside the Chicken Feed
Vancouverites love their brunch. So do your chickens. Your backyard chickens need to eat a balanced, nutrient-rich diet so they can experience optimal growth, weight gain, egg production and immunity from various poultry diseases. We love this premium chicken food from Kaytee. It’s got calcium for strong eggs, healthy fats for egg nutrition, and probiotics to support digestive health.
But here’s a side benefit that many people don’t think about when contemplating raising chickens in Vancouver: You can also feed your chickens kitchen scraps and garden clippings. It’s a great way to recycle organic waste and boost your composting.
3. Check the Rules
Don’t forget to check Vancouver’s bylaws for raising chickens. Besides the aforementioned cap on four hens in the city, there are additional rules. For example, other types of poultry (e.g. geese and ducks) aren’t allowed, and you can’t kill chickens in your urban backyard. Your neighbours thank you!
4. Be Prepared for Everything
“I was a little surprised at how loud they can squawk sometimes,” one woman told the Vancouver Sun. Don’t make the same mistake. We recommend brushing up on your basic knowledge and getting stocked. The following resources are poultryOne-approved and will get you started in no time: