three hens

The Town of Orangeville will embark on a trial program that permits residents to have up to three hens on a single family or semi-detached residential property.  Orangeville Council passed a by-law on November 9 that permits a maximum of three hens per property with a maximum of 30 permits being issued annually. The three-year trial program commences January 1, 2021. Registrations will be issued on a first come, first serve basis.

This move follows public input and a review of best practices from several Ontario municipalities in relation to backyard hens. Many municipalities embarked on pilot programs for a specified duration and limited the number of applicants to assess the effectiveness of the regulations and the program. Regulations will pertain to the size and setback provisions for a hen coop and outdoor run in the rear yard of lots. Eligibility criteria includes not being in a Wellhead Protection Area where the vulnerability score is 10, roosters are not permitted, hens are to be kept in the hen coop at all times, the sale of eggs is prohibited, and an applicant must reside at the property where the hen is kept. A permit will not be issued where the lot is located within 15 metres of a lot with a church or school.

The initial registration fee will be $110 and the fee is the same for the annual renewal. The application form and details will be available on the Town’s website at as of December 7.

Prior to the conclusion of the three-year trial, staff will report back to Council and complete an evaluation of the program that considers the level of participation, complaints and any other feedback received. Council can then determine whether to amend the current by-law provisions including whether to implement the program on a permanent basis.