Chicken pilot project to collect input from farmers

The City of Red Deer will gather input from urban chicken farmers this summer as part of a pilot project.

The City of Red Deer will gather input from urban chicken farmers this summer as part of a pilot project.

Erin Stuart, development and licensing supervisor, invites those with existing operations to participate.

“We want to connect with the urban chicken farming community, as receiving formal input from them is an important part of the pilot project,” said Stuart.

Last February, city council approved a pilot project that would be launched with the five to 10 existing operators.

Council also approved having the city formally gather public input — on top of the dozens of letters it’s already received from opponents and supporters of poultry in the city.

A report, plus a proposed bylaw specific to urban chickens, is expected to return to council by next February.

Red Deer has a chapter of the national organization Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub (CLUCK).

Urban chicken farmers advocate the practice because they say the chickens make entertaining and delightful pets; they eat weeds, bugs and kitchen scraps and provide rich compost material for fertilizer; they provide fresh, organic, nutritionally dense, hormone- and antibiotic-free eggs; and they help to teach children responsibility and to appreciate where food comes from.

Residents who have urban chickens can participate in the pilot project by contacting the Inspections and Licensing Department at 403-342-8190 or inspections@reddeer.ca. Feedback will be accepted until Sept. 15.

The public will have its own say this fall.

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