Hey guys! So I have done a lot of research on BYC - though I plan to do MUCH more before even thinking about going ahead - and unfortunately I found that they are illegal in my city. I live in Mississauga, a suburban area. We have a large backyard and have figured we can section off up to a 7' X 4' (roughly, no exact measurements yet) for a coop and a run. We only plan on having 2-3 chickens. During the day (as long as someone is home) they will be allowed to free range in the backyard - except when we let the dogs out. Both dogs are used to and great with birds but instincts can be brought out despite that so I would never risk it. ' I would like to hatch and raise the chickens from eggs. I have an area in the house, a heat lamp, and a cage. I have built incubators for reptiles in the past so I'm not worried about that. I have even narrowed down the breeds I would like to choose from. My last preliminary step before continuing my research was to check the legal status in my city. They're not legal. I have sent a letter to the mayor and hope with persistence a change can be made. However, I now have a dilemma. I do not want to risk the well-being of an animal by breaking the law in order to keep it. What happens if you get caught with illegal backyard chickens? What if I start out with just one and see how that goes before adding to the flock? I worry about a single hen being lonely, however. I could keep it inside with me much of the time but I feel they need same-species companionship. What are the thoughts on this? Sorry, I went off on a tangent. On to the real topic - for those who keep their chickens illegally, what are your circumstances? How do you keep them hidden from neighbours? Our yard is pretty covered in that the fences are dotted with thick bushes for privacy, but I'm sure eventually they'd catch a peek or hear one. My neighbours are both nice people and there is no bad blood between us, but I don't know them that well. I would really like to go ahead with this anyway and work on changing the law, even if that means just having one chicken (two if one would be too lonely, as I assume it would) in the meantime. Any thoughts, advice, and experiences would be greatly appreciated.