TRURO, N.S. - Rosaria Campbell wants to be sure people are prepared for what’s involved if they decide to keep hens in their backyard.
Campbell, who has a background in livestock and currently works in extended learning at Dal AC, will be at the Truro Library on May 2 to share information about keeping backyard chickens.
“Urban chickens are a popular idea now, but there are some considerations you need to think about,” she said. “This is an animal that lives, breathes, produces manure, gets sick and feels pain. You have to consider their welfare, legalities, and responsibilities to your neighbours.”
Campbell lives on a small farm with a few chickens, but stresses that she isn’t a poultry specialist.
“’I’ll go through things at a basic level, and share information on local resources,” she said.
“There are things people should ask themselves before deciding to get chickens. Do they have someone who will look after them if they’re away for a few days? Are they prepared to feed and water them every day, and provide them with protection from frost and predators?”
She said people sometimes get the birds during nice weather, not thinking about the extra effort required to keep them during the winter.
“Most people are trying to get a few eggs, and these are neat birds, but not always suited to the environment,” said Campbell. “If you have a rooster, and your neighbour works shifts, they won’t appreciate crowing.”
Although residents are permitted to keep hens in Truro, provided they follow the regulations, roosters are not allowed.
Campbell noted that laying birds can make quite a bit of noise cackling if they’re disturbed.
The rules on the number of hens that can be kept, housing the birds and storing feed can be found at https://www.truro.ca/pln/161-land-use-by-law-1/file.html. Eggs can be collected for personal use only; keeping hens in order to sell eggs is prohibited in town.
The presentation at the library will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the J Harris Read Program Room.