Foothills County: Backyard Hens

Foothills County Backyard Hens

We Want your Feedback on Backyard Hens in Foothills County

Foothills County Backyard Hens

Foothills County is exploring the option of allowing residents to keep hens on parcels of less than 3 acres in size. The current Land Use Bylaw does not allow for the keeping of any livestock, including hens, on parcels less than 3 acres in size.

The County has heard both formally and informally from residents who want to keep a small number of chickens on parcels under 3 acres in size in Foothills.  Enthusiasm for backyard hens has grown across the country.  As a result, many municipalities have enacted or updated bylaws to allow for the keeping of backyard hens.

Many of our intermunicipal neighbours have adopted bylaws that allow for hens within their urban boundaries.
Foothills County is in the information gathering stage. All feedback received will be presented to Council. A public hearing is required to pass any proposed bylaws or amendments to the Land Use bylaw.

If the County decides to proceed with bylaw amendments to allow for backyard hens, a public hearing will be advertised County wide, allowing residents to address Council on the matter before a decision is made. 

Click here to fill out the
Backyard Hen Survey
Survey closes November 30, 2019.

Potential Guidelines for Keeping Backyard Hens in the County

  1. A maximum number of hens per parcel (to be determined by Council).
  2. No roosters permitted.
  3. Hens shall be a minimum 4 months of age (this allows hens and roosters to be differentiated).
  4. All parcels housing backyard hens must have an occupied single family dwelling on site.
  5. Hens are not allowed to run at large – they must be kept in appropriate coop and run at all times.
  6. Minimum yard setback requirements for coops on site to ensure separation between neighbours.
  7. Manure shall be properly composted or disposed of.  Any manure allowed to remain on site shall be kept in an enclosed bin.
  8. Hens shall not be slaughtered or disposed of on site.
  9. The sale of eggs, manure, or other products associated with the keeping of backyard hens is prohibited.  Backyard hens are not intended to be used for commercial purposes but as pets and/or for personal egg consumption.
  10. In the event the owner of hens suspects the birds are infected with a communicable disease, the owner shall immediately consult a licensed veterinarian to diagnose the condition and report accordingly.
  11. All backyard hen owners must obtain a Premise Identification Program (PID) under the Premises Identification Regulation in the Alberta Animal Health Act.
  12. Chicken coop shall be in good repair and be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, free from vermin and offensive smells and substances at all times so as to not create a nuisance or disturbance to neighbouring properties.

For more information contact: Coreena Carr at 403-652-2341 or email: