As part of the Village’s efforts to help residents get involved in small-scale domestic food production, residents can now keep up to four (4) hens in your backyard in some residential areas. There are several important rules you will need to comply with in order to keep a backyard coop from being a nuisance for your neighbours, including:
- A maximum of four (4) hens per parcel in permitted residential areas
- Roosters are not allowed in residential areas
- Ducks, turkeys, or other fowl are not allowed in residential areas
- Eggs, meat, and manure from backyard hens in residential areas cannot be used for commercial purposes
- The slaughtering of hens on the property is not allowed in residential areas
Steps to keeping backyard hens
There are four steps to follow to keep hens in your backyard:
- Review the Village’s Zoning Bylaw Map to see if you qualify to keep hens.
- Learn how to care for hens
- Get a British Columbia Premises ID (BCPID) registration number
- Apply for a Backyard Hens Permit with the Village
Step 1: Review the Village’s Zoning Bylaw provisions on keeping hens
Review the Village’s Zoning Bylaw Map to see if you qualify to keep hens. Lots must be greater than 550 m² and permitted zones include:
- Low Density Residential (R1)
- Low Density – Small Lot Residential (R1A)
- Medium Density Residential (R2)
- Limited Medium Density Residential (R2A)
- Recreational Residential (R5)
Section 4.15 of the Village’s Zoning Bylaw sets out the requirements for keeping backyard hens, including the minimum lot size and coop location details.
Some of the provisions include:
- The applicant must be the owner of the lot and reside on the lot, or reside on the lot and have written consent from the owner
- Each hen must be provided with food, water, light, ventilation, and care, sufficient to maintain the hen in good health
- A coop and attached outdoor hen enclosure must be provided on the lot with at least 0.5 m² (4.3 square feet) of interior coop floor area and at last 1.0 m² (10.8 square feet) of outdoor hen enclosure per hen
- The coop must be situated at least 3 metres (9.84 feet) from the rear and side lot line and at least 3 metres (9.84 feet) from any dwelling unit
- The coop must be no more than 10 m² in floor area and 2 metres in height
- Each hen must be provided with its own nest box and perch that is at least 15 cm (6 inches long) within a coop
- The coop and outdoor hen enclosure must be secured from sunset to sunrise
- The coop and outdoor hen enclosure must be situated in a back yard with a continuous fence that is in accordance with Section 4.10 Fences of the Zoning Bylaw
- Feed must be stored within a fully enclosed container and any leftover feed must be removed in a timely manner
- Manure produced by hens must be stored within a fully enclosed container, with no more than 0.08 m3 [2.8 cubic feet] of manure stored on the lot at a time
- Permit holders must immediately consult a licensed veterinarian if a hen becomes infected with an infectious or communicable disease
Step 2: Learn how to care for hens
Next, you should read the following hen keeping information, which provide an overview of considerations for keeping hens:
- Backyard Hens Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (see below)
- Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 892-2022 (Backyard Hens)
- BC SPCA: Thinking of Keeping Backyard Chickens?
- Canadian Food Inspection Agency: How to Prevent and Detect Disease in Backyard Flocks and Pet Birds
- District of Saanich – Hen Basics
Step 3: Get a B.C. Premises ID Registration (BCPID) number
A British Columbia Premises ID (BCPID) is a unique nine-character code assigned by the Ministry of Agriculture to properties who intend to keep livestock or poultry in the province. All Premises ID numbers start with BC (for example: BC449GP7N). There is no financial cost to register and obtain your premises ID number with the Ministry.
There are five options for submitting your Premises Registration:
- Mail your registration to: BCPID, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, 1767 Angus Campbell Road, Abbotsford, BC V3G 2M3
- Email a scanned copy of your registration to: BCPID@gov.bc.ca
- Fax your registration to: 604 556 3030
- Drop off your registration at any BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food office.
- Apply online at www.gov.bc.ca/premisesprogram
Once you receive your unique nine-character code from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, you will then use that ID number to register your hens with the Village.
Step 4: Apply for a backyard hens permit with the Village
After you review the backyard hen guide documents and bylaw regulations, and receive your BCPID number, you can register your property to keep hens with the Village of Chase.
Printable permit applications can be downloaded here or picked up at the Village office. An annual registration fee of $25.00 applies and can be paid at the Village office at 826 Okanagan Avenue, during office hours (Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm).
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions or Concerns
If you are concerned about backyard hens in violation of bylaw regulations, email email@example.com or call 250 679 3238 to register a hen-related complaint involving:
- Pests, insects, or wildlife drawn by the backyard hens
- Noise or smell from the hens
- Hens that are injured, abandoned, stray / at large, or neglected
- The owner is not registered with the Backyard Hens program
- The number of hens exceeds bylaw guidelines
- The hens are not being cared for according to the Bylaw Requirements