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Town of Newmarket egg-laying hens pilot project flies with council

5 Ward 2 residents can keep 3 hens on their properties
Feb. 9, 2016
By Chris Simon

Ward 2 has won Newmarket's game of chicken.

Council approved plans for a one-year pilot project, which will allow up to five Ward 2 residential properties to keep the hens on site. The program will begin March 1.

Under the project, hens will be kept in backyards. A maximum of three per property will be permitted and all hens must be at least four months old. Tenants must obtain permission from property owners before participating in the pilot and hens must be kept in their coops from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night.

Enclosures must be a minimum of 10 square feet per hen and the hens must be kept in an enclosed run when not in their coops. Roosters will be banned.

Hen coops and runs should be at least 1.2 metres from the rear and side lot lines and participants must get permission from abutting property owners.

Slaughter will also be prohibited, so any hens that die during this pilot must be sent to a livestock facility or veterinarian for proper disposal.