Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in Alberta

In the province of Alberta, keeping chickens is a relatively easy process, but only if you reside in an agricultural or rural area. Urban areas, on the other hand, present a host of challenges, as many cities have restrictions on backyard chicken-keeping. If you're a city-dweller in Alberta and you're interested in keeping chickens for noncommercial purposes, the first step is to check your local bylaws. From there, you can determine whether or not you're permitted to keep chickens and what specific regulations you need to follow. With a little bit of research and careful planning, it's possible to enjoy the many benefits of raising chickens even in an urban environment.

A backyard hen

Backyard chickens can be a great addition to your urban homestead. They provide a sustainable source of fresh eggs and can also help reduce food waste by eating kitchen scraps and other food leftovers. Additionally, chickens are excellent at pest control, keeping your garden free of pests like slugs and snails. They also produce nutrient-rich fertilizer for your plants and can even be used for meat production, if desired. However, before getting started with backyard chicken-keeping, it's important to familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations to ensure that you are in compliance with any restrictions in your area.

Many cities in Alberta allows residents to keep chickens in their backyard. While some cities have strict regulations on the number of chickens allowed and coop requirements, others have more lenient rules. In this article, we will explore some cities in Alberta that allow backyard chickens and the regulations that come with it.


The City of Calgary has taken a unique approach to urban agriculture with its Urban Hen Program. This innovative initiative allows residents to keep up to four chickens in their backyard, provided they obtain a license and adhere to the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw. The program, which operates from spring to fall, has proven to be a popular option for those interested in sustainable and locally sourced food. It's important to note that roosters are not allowed, and that only those over the age of 18 are eligible to apply for a license. Overall, the Urban Hen Program is a great way for Calgarians to participate in urban agriculture and enjoy the many benefits of raising chickens responsibly and sustainably.


Edmonton, like many other cities, has implemented an Urban Hens Program to educate and encourage residents to keep backyard hens. Residents can enroll in an urban hen-keeping course approved by the City of Edmonton and obtain a license to keep hens in their backyard. However, it is important to note that hen-keeping licenses are not issued during the winter months from November to March. Furthermore, all chicken owners in Edmonton are required to register their flocks in the provincial database and obtain a Provincial Premise ID (PID) to comply with the regulations set by the Province of Alberta.

Red Deer

Residents of Red Deer who are interested in keeping chickens on their property must first apply for an Urban Chicken License. This license is required by the City of Red Deer and must be obtained before any chickens can be kept. Approval of the application is necessary, and once approved, a license fee must be paid. The license must be renewed on an annual basis. If you are granted the license, you are allowed to keep up to four chickens, but only hens are permitted. Roosters, however, are not allowed.


In the City of Airdrie, keeping backyard hens is allowed, but residents must first apply for a development permit and meet certain requirements. These requirements include a maximum of four chickens, a maximum henhouse and run size of 4.65m², and fully enclosed housing. To prevent disturbance to neighbors, the coop must not exceed 2m in height and must be set back at least 3m from neighboring windows and doors. Regular maintenance is also required, including the removal of manure and wet bedding from the coop and animal feeding and lounging areas.

Wood Buffalo

Keeping backyard chickens in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alberta, Canada requires a Hen License. The process involves paying an application fee of $150, and once approved, a fee of $15 per hen per year. With a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 hens allowed, backyard chicken enthusiasts have the opportunity to enjoy fresh eggs and the benefits of raising their own poultry. Additionally, chicken coops must be located at least 1 meter away from all property lines and 3 meters away from neighboring dwellings to ensure the safety and comfort of your neighbors. It's important to follow the guidelines set by the municipality to ensure the safety and well-being of both the chickens and the community.

Grande Prairie

If you're a resident of the City of Grande Prairie and want to keep backyard chickens, you'll need a Livestock Exemption Permit. But before you apply, make sure your property meets the city's site requirements for chicken coops and runs. Backyards must be completely fenced and secured, and not all properties may be suitable for urban hen keeping. If your site is approved, you can only house one coop and run, and they must be located a certain distance away from property lines and other buildings. Additionally, you can only have up to four hens per site, and roosters are not allowed. Make sure to indicate the breed and number of hens during the application process.

St. Albert

The City of St. Albert has a hen bylaw that requires residents to obtain a Backyard Hens License before acquiring any chickens. The application process can be a bit involved, as it involves reviewing the Hen Bylaw, preparing and submitting your application, applying for a Premise Identification (PID) Number, building your chicken coop, and finally getting your hens. But don't let that deter you! With a bit of planning and preparation, you can enjoy the many benefits of raising backyard chickens while ensuring you're in compliance with local regulations.

Other Alberta Municipalities That Allow Backyard Chickens

  • Rocky View County - 20 chickens for every four acres
  • Leduc - A license is required to keep backyard hens
  • Okotoks - An urban hen license is required to keep 4 hens
  • Chestermere - A maximum of 6 chickens per residential
  • Sturgeon County - No more than 6 hens per site
  • Cold Lake - No more than 4 hens per property. Permit required
  • Strathmore - Up to 4 hens for personal use
  • Brooks - A Hen License is required to keep up to 4 hens
  • Lacombe - An Urban Hen License is required to keep up to 4 hens


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