Learn the rules for backyard chickens, and register your chickens with the City
As part of our efforts to help you get involved in your own food production, you can now keep chickens in your backyard.
- Rules for keeping backyard hens
- Steps to keeping backyard hens
- Asking questions or reporting concerns
To keep your backyard chicken coop from being a nuisance for your neighbours:
- A maximum of 4 hens (no roosters), 4 months or older, per lot is allowed
- Ducks, turkeys, or other fowl or livestock (such as goats) are not allowed
- Eggs, meat, and manure cannot be used for commercial purposes
- Backyard slaughtering is not allowed
There are three steps to follow if you want to keep chickens in your backyard.
Step 1: Review the City by-laws
Our by-laws explain all of the rules and requirements for keeping backyard hens, including the size and location of your coop, and other important details.
These by-laws both protect the health of people living in the area, and ensure the hens are treated humanely:
- Animal Control By-law
- Guidelines for Keeping of Backyard Hens PDF file (225 KB)
- Zoning and Development By-law (Section 10.2.2) PDF file (154 KB)
Step 2: Learn how to care for hens
Next, you should read the following basic hen care documents before getting your hens:
- How to prevent and detect disease in backyard flocks and pet birds
- Basic hen care and chicken coop design requirements
- Humane considerations for backyard hens
- Resources for backyard hen owners
Step 3: Register your hens with the City
After you review the basic care documents and zoning regulations - and you build your coop - you can go ahead and purchase your hens.
Once the hens are purchased, you need to register your hens with the City. Registration is free, and you can do it online.
Raising other animals or livestock
Raising other animals for meat, fibre, milk, eggs, or other products (animal husbandry) is not currently permitted in the City of Vancouver.