Hen trial approved for city resident

Cory Hurley
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CORNER BROOK  It may not be that unusual to allow a resident to have hens in many Newfoundland communities, but it is unique in Canadian cities.

However, that is just what Corner Brook’s council permitted a resident to do at its regular monthly meeting Monday evening.

Jeff Siddall was granted approval to keep his four hens, which he raises on his Pine Street property to eat the eggs, as a pilot project.

Coun. Gary Kelly said only a handful of Canadian cities — Victoria, B.C. and Kingston, Ont being two — have such a specific policy or legislation in place. He sees it as a progressive step for the municipality.

“In regards to all the discussion around food security and sustainability, this growing your own food and community gardens are becoming much more fashionable or desirable for a number of people,” Kelly said.

Oddly enough, the pilot project has resulted from a complaint that Siddal was keeping the hens on his property. The city received a complaint from a townsite resident, who Kelly said was not an immediate neighbour, and the man was not aware he was not allowed to have them.

The councillor said the city’s animal control legislation does not specifically address hens, so this study could help develop such a policy. People with the Western Environment Centre are also helping to monitor the study.

During a request for public comment, the city received nine submissions — a telephone call, three emails, and four letters of support and one phone call objecting due to concerns of noise and order.

At the request of Coun. Leo Bruce, an ammendment was made to the motion to be able to revoke the urban hen trial permit if any problems are encountered.

Kelly is confident there will be no issues. He said he was surprised to learn that raising hens is not a simple process. He said they actually will not lay eggs if their nesting conditions are not clean and suitable.


Twitter: WS_CoryHurley

Organizations: Western Environment Centre

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Pine Street, Victoria Kingston

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Recent comments

  • abby
    April 25, 2013 - 10:12

    Yes, it is laughable isn't it, but you can be sure the next one will have more than hens.

  • CBGirl
    April 24, 2013 - 05:20

    I don't consider laying hens to be a problem. As long as he's not allowed to add a rooster, as hens are much more quiet than roosters. If he is only raising them for eggs then he wouldn't even want a rooster anyways. Its refreshing to see council is allowing this trial to go ahead. I have a feeling it won't be this guy who wrecks further hen raising- it'll be some nut bar who decides to get a few chickens on a whim.

  • Francine
    April 23, 2013 - 17:57

    Why is everyone comparing this to the cat house? No one knew there were 200 cats there before the poor guy ended up in the hospital. The city is following the legal process required to have the house demolished. in the case of these hens, everything is above board and the situation is being monitored closely. Councillor Bruce even made sure the permit included the ability for the city to end the trial if problems arise. it looks to me like they are taking every precaution to ensure the same thing doesn't happen here. once the cat house problem has made its way through the legal process it will be cleaned up but the city can't just tear down someone's house without a legal process.

    • Frank
      April 24, 2013 - 08:13

      I think the point is that a resident has to jump through hoops it get 4 hens while the city dodged it's responsibility ( and still is dodging it) about a house full of cats. From previous news reports it seems that city was aware of a cat problem at that house. It was only later did we find out just how bad it was allowed to become.

  • just wondering
    April 23, 2013 - 11:40

    Do seagulls, crows, and pigeons require approval from the City Council before they flock to Corner Brook?

  • Keith and Doris Cormier
    April 23, 2013 - 11:26

    I watched this pilot project unfold on Cable 9 last evening. For over 30 minutes council members fell over themselves in a discussion about someone wishing to have 4 chickens to produce some eggs. 30 minutes and several councillors spoke at length about the need for this project to be clean. CLEAN is a word they threw around with much authority, yet the residents of McWhirters Lane are living next to a cat sewer. The weather is beginning to warm up and with that change comes first the stench and as we have already seen this spring the cat feces flies. I pray that no one gets sick because of the inaction by the city. There is a school about 100 meters away from this enviromental health hazard, yet council can find the time to spend 30 minutes discussing 4 laying hens. What is next to be discusssed. 2 turtle doves or a partridge in a pear tree?

  • Too Funny
    April 23, 2013 - 07:40

    What?? Four hens, well that requires a pilot project but a couple hundred cats is not a concern for the city. Yes sir, that's the rationale of Corner Brook's finest. "Food security", sure because eggs are always in short supply.

    • ROY
      April 23, 2013 - 11:51

      that's a heavy load for the councillors, decisions to be made on 4 hens. I guess that's why they make the big bucks, meanwhile the 200+ cat house still stands....