What are you, chicken? Calgary launches a new pet hen licensing program

Mar 29 2023, 4:23 pm

The City of Calgary has made an announcement that makes us shake our tailfeathers in excitement: you can now get a licence to own a pet hen.

The City tried out a pilot program last year that allowed 100 people to keep backyard hens and obviously, no one laid an egg. This year, the City of Calgary has released an unlimited number of licences for people to get their own pet hen.

toronto backyard chickens

Lindsay Burgess

Beginning today, Calgarians will have a chance to rule the roost as you can apply for an urban livestock licence to keep backyard hens.

“We heard from Calgarians that modern pet ownership means more than just caring for cats and dogs,” said Tara Decker, coordinator of administration and pet licensing at Animal Services.

Now, obviously not just anyone can own a hen. There are certain criteria that need to be met.

Calgarians interested in applying for an urban livestock licence will need to ensure egg-cellent hen-keeping training and caretaking to meet the application criteria:

  • Be 18+ years old or have a parent or guardian apply on their behalf.
  • Complete approved hen-keeping and care training.
  • Own the property hens will be kept on or have written permission from the property owner.
  • Acquire a free Premise Identification (PID) Number from the Government of Alberta.
  • Hen licences must number two to four, as hens are group animals.

Applicants must also contact Planning and Development to discuss where the coop will be built in their backyards.

For more information on how to get your spring chicken, check out the City’s website.

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