Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in British Columbia


The popularity of backyard chicken keeping has been on the rise in recent years, with many people opting for a more sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle. In British Columbia, Canada, there are several cities and municipalities that allow residents to keep chickens in their backyards. This article will explore some of these cities and the regulations that are in place to ensure the health and safety of both the chickens and the community. Whether you are a seasoned chicken keeper or a newcomer to the hobby, this guide will provide valuable information on where you can legally keep chickens in British Columbia.

A hen

Vancouver, BC

Backyard chicken keeping is permitted in both single and multi-family residential zones in Vancouver, however, a permit is mandatory for keeping female chickens. Hen enclosures must be situated at least 1 meter away from property lines and 3 meters from windows and doors of dwellings. No more than 4 hens are allowed per lot. The slaughtering of chickens and the sale of their eggs, manure, or other products are not allowed in Vancouver. These regulations ensure safe and healthy chicken-keeping practices while preserving the peace and well-being of Vancouver's residential areas.

Surrey, BC

The City of Surrey is encouraging residents to take part in urban food production by allowing them to keep chickens in their backyards. However, some important guidelines need to be followed to ensure that the backyard chicken coop does not cause any inconvenience to neighbors. For instance, residents are allowed to have a maximum of 12 chickens per acre on lots between 1 and 5 acres or 4 chickens per lot on lots greater than 7,200 square feet but less than 1 acre. Additionally, it is important to note that roosters are not allowed in residential areas on lots less than 5 acres. Finally, residents need to keep in mind that the use of eggs, meat, or manure for commercial purposes on lots less than 1 acre is not permitted.

Richmond, BC

In Richmond, BC, Backyard Chickens are only allowed on parcels of land larger than 2,000 square meters. For those lucky enough to have enough space, keeping chickens comes with the responsibility of ensuring they do not create a nuisance for neighbors and that their living areas are kept clean and sanitary. This includes regular cleaning to prevent the accumulation of excrement and unpleasant odors that could cause a disturbance in the community.

Kelowna, BC

In an effort to promote sustainable living, the City of Kelowna has allowed residents to keep up to ten backyard chickens on properties with at least one-half acre of land. However, this privilege comes with certain regulations, including the prohibition of roosters, the requirement for a clean and sanitary backyard coop, and the disallowance of on-site slaughtering of chickens or selling of eggs.

These measures ensure that the chickens are kept in a humane and healthy environment while also respecting the neighborhood's peace and cleanliness. By following these guidelines, Kelowna residents can enjoy the benefits of raising chickens for eggs and companionship while also contributing to a greener and more self-sufficient community.

Saanich, BC

Residents of Saanich who live on single-family residential properties with an area greater than 6,000 square feet are permitted to keep up to five chickens, while those with an area greater than 12,000 square feet can keep up to 10. However, roosters are not allowed in Saanich residential zones. Backyard hens should also be kept for egg production for personal use only.

Delta, BC

Delta City Council has recognized the growing interest in urban agriculture and backyard chickens and has recently adopted bylaw amendments to permit backyard chickens on Single Detached Residential (RS) and Duplex Residential (RD) zoned lots. However, residents must comply with several important rules, including limits on the number of chickens allowed and obtaining a license from the city. Only female chickens (hens) that are at least 4 months old are permitted, while roosters (males) are not. 

Additionally, residents cannot slaughter chickens on their property or sell any chicken-related products. Despite these limitations, this bylaw amendment provides an opportunity for Delta residents to connect with the city's farming roots and engage in sustainable living practices.

Nanaimo, BC

In Nanaimo, the number of backyard chickens or ducks allowed depends on property size. Those with less than one acre can have no more than four, while those with one acre or more can have up to 12. However, roosters, cocks, cockerels, and peafowl are not allowed within city limits, and butchering or euthanizing of hens or ducks is prohibited. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in hefty fines of up to $150 per day. Additionally, any chicken found at large may be impounded for a fee of $10, with an additional daily board fee of $10.

Kamloops, BC

The City of Kamloops allows residents to raise urban chickens, but with some conditions. To do so, you must either be the property owner or have the owner's permission and live on the premises. Additionally, you need to have a single-family or duplex lot that is at least 370 square meters, a regulation coop, and a fenced backyard with a minimum height of 1.2 meters and a maximum of 2 meters. Lastly, the number of female chickens allowed is between two and five. These regulations ensure that urban chicken raising is done in a safe and responsible manner within the city limits.

Other British Columbia Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens

  • Victoria, BC - A maximum of 15 chickens is permitted
  • North Vancouver, BC - Up to 8 hens permitted in OCP-R1 zoned dwellings 
  • New Westminster, BC - Backyard hens are permitted
  • Vernon, BC - Up to 4 hens allowed
  • West Vancouver, BC - Permits no more than 6 chickens per lot
  • Penticton, BC - A hen permit is required to keep hens
  • Campbell River, BC - Allows a maximum of 6 chickens per property
  • Courtenay, BC - Up to 6 hens may be kept on single residential lots
  • Squamish, BC - A maximum of 5 hens per property
  • Oak Bay, BC - Up to 10 chickens allowed depending on property size
  • Colwood, BC - Up to 4 hens allowed
  • Port Alberni, BC - Up to six hens allowed depending on property size
  • Parksville, BC - 4 Hens per single-family residential property
  • Powell River, BC - Up to 3 chickens per residential property
  • Summerland, BC - Up to 25 chickens allowed
  • View Royal, BC - Permits 4 hens per property


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