Vernon may allow four hens in residential backyards instead of the current three.

Vernon may allow four hens in residential backyards instead of the current three.

Backyard hen rules take flight

City council instructed administration Tuesday to increase the number of urban hens from three to four

More chickens may take roost in Vernon backyards.

City council instructed administration Tuesday to increase the number of urban hens from three to four permitted under regulations.

“Vancouver raised their’s to four and the (North Okanagan) regional district set its standard at four,” said Clint Kanester, protective services manager.

That means a request from a 39th Avenue to keep six hens has been turned down.

“It seems like such an arbitrary number. If it’s six, does it create more disturbance or smell?” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

Beyond odour, there is the issue of what residents do with manure.

Coun. Brian Quiring pointed out that a residential property is only allowed to have a total of three dogs and cats under bylaw.

“It’s a good precedent of where we came up with four (hens),” he said.

Coun. Juliette Cunningham believes four hens are reasonable for an average sized lot.

“It’s a good compromise for those wanting to know where their eggs are coming from,” she said.