Calling all "Chicken Tenders"!
We are eggcited to announce that Council has passed the Urban Hen Bylaw, and residents can now have urban hens on their property.
Of course, with this new two-year pilot program, we will have engagement and educational opportunities on this page.
Please read the terms and conditions of owning hens in the accordions below before downloading an application form, as we want to ensure no fowl play.
This program enables Blackfaldsians to be their own "Chicken Tenders" and keep backyard hens under the Urban Hen Bylaw.
The program officially launched on July 11, 2023 and will be run on a two-year trial basis.
While anyone is welcome to apply, there are set terms and conditions so we can ensure the safety and well-being of our new residents. Saying that, we ask that only serious interested parties apply - we don't want this program to fly the coop!
While the license is not cheep, putting a cost to host urban hens ensures more responsibility from the applicants.
We require $70 for the Urban Hen License Fee.
- All hens must be provided with food, water (unfrozen), shelter, light, ventilation, care, and opportunities for essential behaviours such as scratching, dust-bathing, and roosting to ensure they remain in good health.
- All feed must be stored within a fully enclosed container.
- All hen owners must follow biosecurity procedures recommended by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to reduce the potential for disease outbreak.
- Urban hens are for personal use only and hen owners must not:
- Sell eggs, manure, meat or other products derived from hens;
- Slaughter a hen on the property;
- Dispose of a hen except for delivering it to a farm, abattoir, veterinarian or other operation that is lawfully permitted to dispose of hens; or
- Keep a hen in a cage, kennel, or any shelter other than a coop.
- All leftover feed, trash, and manure must be removed in a timely manner.
- Manure must be stored within a fully enclosed container, and store no more than 3 cubic feet of manure at a time.
- All manure not used for composting or fertilizing must be removed and disposed of in accordance with Town Bylaws.
If you can no longer provide for your hens, you must ensure that they are re-homed responsibly.
- Each hen must have a minimum of 0.37 m2 (4.0 ft2) of interior floor area within the coop with a maximum coop size of 10.0 m2 in floor area and at least 0.92 m2 (9.9 ft2) of outdoor enclosure.
- At least one (1) nest box per coop and one (1) perch per hen that is at least 15 cm long must be provided at all times.
- All hens must be fully contained within the coop and outdoor enclosure at all times.
- The coop must always be maintained in good repair and sanitary condition, and free from vermin and noxious or offensive smells and substances.
- The coop must be constructed and maintained to prevent rodents from harbouring underneath or within it or within its walls, and to prevent entrance from any other animal.
- Food and water containers must be kept within a coop at all times.
- The coop is to remain secured from sunset to sunrise.
Should the pilot program not result in a formal Urban Hen program, "Chicken Tenders" will have ninety (90) days from the end of the pilot program to re-home the urban hens.
A maximum of 4 urban hens can be kept.
Please download and fill out the Urban Hen application form and bring it to the Planning & Development Department at the Civic Centre (lower level). Alternatively, you can also email the completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org
When downloading this form, you will be asked to initial the following statements:
- I acknowledge that an urban hen license is for one (1) year, from July 11 until July 10 and that there is no guarantee of renewal for subsequent years.
- I acknowledge that the Town of Blackfalds Urban Hen pilot program is a two (2) year trail.
- I acknowledge, should the pilot program not result in a formal Urban Hen program, that I will have ninety (90) days from the end of the pilot program to re-home the urban hens.
You will also need to provide a site plan, a copy of the Premises Identification Number (PID) associated with the location of the proposed urban hens, and a copy of the Certificate of Title for the property subject to an urban license.