http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/1086323.html Court: Pet chickens are fowl But family allowed to keep fine-feathered Fanny until they fly the HRM coop to Boston By JENNIFER STEWART Court Reporter Thu. Oct 23 - 5:13 AM [Jane Napier Parker and her husband Trevor Smedley hold their pet chicken Fanny at their Stillwater Lake home on Wednesday. A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has upheld a lower court decision that the familys pet chickens were livestock and being kept illegally on the residential property. (DARREN PITTMAN / Staff)</p>] Jane Napier Parker and her husband Trevor Smedley hold their pet chicken Fanny at their Stillwater Lake home on Wednesday. A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has upheld a lower court decision that the familys pet chickens were livestock and being kept illegally on the residential property. (DARREN PITTMAN / Staff) Fanny fluffed up her feathers and made a soft cooing noise as she settled in Wednesday to enjoy her last few hours as a legal resident of her owners quiet Stillwater Lake neighbourhood. The two-year-old heritage chicken, a much-adored pet of Trevor Smedley, his wife and their three young children, pecked her way into the hearts of many in Halifax Regional Municipality when the provincial court ruled earlier this year that her owners were violating the citys land-use bylaws by keeping her in a coop outside their sprawling two-storey home. A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge upheld that decision Wednesday, but dont ship the chicken off to the farm just yet. In a move that shows the paper-pushers might just have a heart, municipal Crown attorney Joshua Judah told the court that the city wont force Mr. Smedley and his family to get rid of their pet chicken since they are moving to Boston next summer. "Were happy that were going to be able to keep our chickens," Mr. Smedley told reporters outside the courtroom. In March, Judge Jamie Campbell convicted Mr. Smedley of using an accessory-use building to house livestock. A second charge of keeping chickens was stayed. The third-year law student, who represented himself in the case, promptly appealed the decision. He was originally fined $500 and told that Fanny had to fly the coop by May 30. Although he disagreed with the conviction, Mr. Smedley said it was the idea of the city "micromanaging" his life that really cooked his goose. "Like a lot of people, I dont like the city messing with what people do on their own property when theyre not bothering other people," he said. Although Chief Justice Joseph Kennedy agreed with the trial judge that its illegal to keep chickens in a coop on residential property, Mr. Smedley said the more important question of whether residents can keep chickens at all still looms. "I still think the law, where I live, doesnt say that I cant have pet chickens. I guess someone else will have to take up that fight and if they want to, Id certainly be happy to help them." At the appeal last month, Mr. Smedley argued that the 13 chickens and one rooster his family originally housed in a coop on their one-hectare property were clearly pets and not kept for agricultural use. Chief Justice Kennedy clearly disapproved of the "busybody" who first called in to complain about the familys rooster but said the legislation is clear in this case these birds are fowl and therefore have an agricultural purpose. "Clearly the trial judge did not want to convict," Chief Justice Kennedy said. "He did not want to take those chickens from those kids, but he was right." Mr. Judah admitted its unfortunate Mr. Smedley has to give up the family pets but said he should have checked with the city first. "In the same way that I wouldnt want my cats taken away from my three-year-old, I checked with my landlord before I moved in, and people should check with the city before they decide to use their land for particular purposes." But Mr. Smedley insists he and his wife did their homework. "We looked into it. We tried to figure out if there were any restrictions and we couldnt find anything." This is not the first time the municipality has forced a resident to give up pet chickens. In February, Louise Hanavan moved three hens out of her Edinburgh Street backyard in Halifax to a Hants County farm rather than risk prosecution.