Property owners are now allowed to have up to four laying hens (no roosters) and a beehive on their property – if they meet certain restrictions and requirements.
During a public hearing on March 28, Windsor town council asked for feedback before passing a second reading of the land use bylaw amendment.
Nobody spoke against the idea, but several spoke in favour.
Anthony Wood, a resident of Windsor, said he was excited about the prospect of raising his own chickens.
“I’ve owned chickens before and really enjoyed it,” Anthony said. “One, it serves an educational purpose for my daughters, two, it allows me to provide my own food to be a little more self-sustaining.”
There are several rules and restrictions in place, such as the limit of four laying hens per household.
For potential beekeepers, they’ll need 5,000 square feet of lot space to put in a hive.
“I think half a dozen hens would also be acceptable, but you have to have a starting point, so four is fine,” he said.
“The councillors should take into consideration the number of occupants per property, because if somebody is looking to sustain their family, it would probably make sense to have it per person, rather than just a limit of four,” Wood continued.
“I usually eat two eggs per day, as does my wife and my kids have one each. Those chickens won’t be providing a daily sustenance for them,” he added. “Two per person would make more sense in my mind.”
Still, Wood says he’s happy with this first step.
Nobody spoke in opposition to the change during the public hearing, and Wood said he thinks that’s because Windsor is a smaller, more rural community.
“People haven’t been cut off from knowing where their food comes from and knowing how to raise agricultural animals as someone who lives in a metropolitan area,” he said. “I’m totally for chicken power.”
His mother, Monique Wood, said she was happy with the beekeeping measure.
“I’m a huge fan of David Suzuki, and he is encouraging us all to do our best and our utmost to maintain the bee population in Canada,” she said. “The Town of Windsor, in this venture, will be helping with that.”
She said she’s starting with chickens at her home and then moving onto the bees after that.
Other communities in Nova Scotia have similar laws on the books, including Truro, Wolfville and Bridgewater.
A planner with the town said some concerns that could be brought up by residents include noise, odours, and a potential increase in rodents.
However, one resident during the public hearing in an oral presentation said those issues could be addressed by proper care of the owner.
The land use bylaw amendment was passed unanimously by council.