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Oshawa, Ontario

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances' started by Zoomom, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

    Jan 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    I just got this reply back to an email I sent regarding chickens in Oshawa....

    Here is my question first.

    I have searched the city of Oshawa web site for the answer to this question and I can't find anything restricting someone from keeping a few laying hens (chickens) in their back yard in Oshawa . Under exotic animals, birds in the by-law poultry were not listed. But pet stores are not allowed to sell poultry. So are chickens allowed in Oshawa ?
    Any information you can give me would be most helpful.
    Thank you.

    And the reply...
    Hello and thank you for your enquiry.

    You are correct in your reading of the by-law in that Chickens are not specifically prohibited from being kept at this time. A number of by-laws were combined some years ago and this area was unintentionally left out.

    You should be aware that the by-law is in the process of being redrafted and the amended by-law will include chickens as being restricted to being kept in areas zoned agricultural. The likelihood is that the amended by-law will be in place by the spring of this year.

    There is also a section in the by-law (Section 2.26) which deals with animal sounds and identifies it as an offence for an owner of an animal to cause, permit or allow the animal to emit animal sounds for extended or frequent periods. Animal sounds are defined under the by-law as:

    ""ANIMAL SOUND" means any sound emitted from an ANIMAL or DOG which is audible at a POINT OF RECEPTION. Without limitation, this term shall include barking, whimpering, whining, howling and yelping."

    We have received complaints in the past with respect to the keeping of chickens and the noise created and the situation has been dealt with under that section of the by-law.

    Please let us know if you have any further questions.
  2. henhopeful

    henhopeful Hatching

    Dec 19, 2008
    I'm in Edmonton. No chickens are allowed here, either. Hopefully they will change their minds about your bylaws.
  3. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON

    I used to live in Bowmanville not too long ago and the minute a neighbour heard any animal sound you were reported.
    ... despite the fact that half the town could easily hear the lions from the zoo on any given morning.
  4. Barry

    Barry Songster

    My take on this is that is now legal to have quiet chickens in Oshawa. If you get some now before they change the by-law, then you should be covered by the "Grandfather Clause" that allows preexisting situations to continue.
  5. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

    Jan 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    I was thinking the same thing...just get some now, then when/if they change the by law again, they will have been around for "years" and not disturbing anyone.
    I was also thinking of fighting it being changed. I need to start researching how to word a protest letter. I really want to raise my own food (eggs) and if I only have 4 hens and no roosters, they really shouldn't be too noisy.
  6. HeatherFeather

    HeatherFeather Songster

    Feb 16, 2009
    Severn Bridge, ON

    I'm in Oshawa too, and we are also planning on getting some laying hens this spring.

    I've read the pet bylaw extensively, and nope, it doesn't include chickens at this time. I wonder when in the spring the new bylaw will be re-written? I'm not sure how soon the snow will melt and I can get a coop up.....

    I also wonder if having something like silkies you might be able to get away with easier...."they aren't chickens, they're fancy Japanese silkies, a pet bird I keep for the show ring...."
  7. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

    Jan 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    Glad to know there's someone else in Oshawa with the same idea. We need to build a new shed anyways, as the old 2 are falling apart, so it would be a good opportunity to make it a bit bigger with a section for some hens and no one would be suspicious of us building a new shed, then tearing down the old ones.
    . I like the look of the silkies. I'm not sure what breed I will get if we decide to go ahead....I have a friend with Rhode Island Reds who will give me some chicks, or I can get some 20 wk old layers from Frey's through Orono Co-op or it's not that far to drive to Carrying Place to Performance Poultry for something else.
    Keep me updated, ok? I'll do the same.
    Good luck!
  8. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    Hi all you "new eggs" interested in chicken bylaws! [​IMG]

    I am not sure that chickens will be grandfathered. You might want to check on that. I am not sure if living creatures are grandfathered the same way as buildings are. If they are, well, then it is a good thing that most people can't tell one chicken from another. [​IMG]

    If the bylaw has not yet been written, now is the time to raise a polite ruckus and talk to the local government - the elected officials, not the staff. The staff may not care, and it is probably a staff recommendation to prohibit chickens.

    The elected officials answer to you, the people, and if enough people contact them, they may change their minds. Keep in mind if 15 people contact a local official about an issue it is a huge groundswell. Most people don't contact officials. Organize. Turn 50 pro-chicken people out to a meeting, and ask for a REASONABLE bylaw.

    It sounds like they have had complaints in the past about noise. Do your homework -- ask the staff if they have had other complaints, other than noise? Have they had complaints about roosters or hens? How many complaints per year have they had? Have they had more complaints about chickens than about dogs? They can't get away with banning dogs, because there are too many dog-supporters.

    Then, use this research (again, the staff may not be on your side at all, but don't let that discourage you) to go to the elected officials and ask for a reasonable bylaw that addresses the concerns that the staffers brought up. A reasonable ordinance would be to permit something like 3-6 hens per household, and prohibit roosters. Show them several sample bylaws from cities of similar size and density that permit chickens.
  9. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

    Jan 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi vermontgal,
    Thank you. This is the type of thing I have been wondering about. DO I just sneak in some hens or do I try to get it official and legal, and risk being put on the radar by the city....
    Do you think a petition is a good start?
    Should I write our local paper an opinion letter about laying hens and self-sustainability and slow food?
    Best wishes, Zoomom
  10. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    In response to vermont.. Here about a year ago the Ontario government passed a law that said that if you didn't have over 15 acres of land you couldn't have horses or livestock (this is in the country). However, if you had those animals on your little patch of land BEFORE the law was passed, you were grandfathered in and you could keep your animals. However, if you sold your place your ability to have animals on that property was no grandfathered and the new owners were prohibited from having livestock on that property again.

    I would assume it'd be the same with this by-law in the Shwa, you would be grandfathered if you had your animals before the by-law was passed, but if you sold your property the new owners would not be grandfathered.

    Hope that helps.

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