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Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services » Social & Community Development

Urban Hens - What You Need to Know

Learn About Hens 1. Learn About Hens
Research the needs, lives, and care of hens and eggs. Talk to farmers, read books, magazines, and Internet articles. Before getting your hens, read the following hen care documents:

Understand Regulations 2. Understand Regulations
Review the City of Kamloops information including this web page and Animal Control Bylaws.

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Some of the regulations for keeping urban hens include:

  • Urban hens are for the enjoyment of the person or family living on the premises;
  • The selling of eggs, meat, or manure is not permitted;
  • Hen coops must meet the minimum setback requirements in the City’s Animal Control Bylaw and be maintained in good condition:

    • Hens are to be kept in a building and enclosure that is to be located in the rear yard of the property, at least 3m from a dwelling unit, and 1m from rear and side yard property lines.
    • Each hen is to be provided with 0.5m2 of indoor coop space and 1.0m2 of roofed outdoor enclosure. The coop must be fully enclosed. The maximum area of the coop and enclosure should be less than 10m2; and
  • Hens are not allowed to run at large.

Important points of the Animal Control Bylaw include:

  • Noise – Roosters are prohibited in residential zones, and hens must be kept inside their coops from sunset to 7:00 am.
  • Rodents – Coops and pens must be maintained in good repair and sanitary condition, free from vermin and obnoxious smells and substances. Coops and pens must be constructed to prevent any rodent from harboring underneath or within them or their walls. Hen owners are required to keep food in sealed locked containers and preferably indoors.
  • Smell – Manure must be stored in a fully enclosed structure no more than 180 litres. Coops and pens must be sanitary, and food, garbage and manure must be removed in a timely fashion from each coop and pen.

The keeping of hens in Kamloops is subject to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, and no slaughtering or butchering of hens is to take place on residential properties.

» Guidelines for keeping backyard hens

Register With the City 3. Register With The City
Self registration is required and free of charge, download the Registration Form.

Build Your Coop 4. Build Your Coop
To have healthy hens you must have at least 0.5m² per hen inside the coop, and a minimum 1m² per hen outside the coop with both areas fully enclosed and covered; each hen must have their own nesting box and roost. The coop must be no bigger than 10m² and must be in the backyard. Setbacks for the coop in the back yard are 1m from side and rear property lines and 3m from the dwelling unit. See bylaw for specific details.

Gather Supplies 5. Gather Supplies
Buy your feed, dishes for feed and water, pine shavings for the coop floor, and straw for the nest boxes.

Get Hens 6. Get Hens
Buy hens from a reputable dealer or have a friend gift them to you. (2-5 hens older then 3 months, no roosters)

Harvest Eggs 7. Harvest Eggs
Urban hens are for the enjoyment of the person or family living on the premises. No one is allowed to sell the eggs, meat, or manure.

Get Hens 8. Care for Them
Hens need attention and care including fresh water, healthy food, and a clean and well maintained coop that is free from manure, smells and pests.

Secure Feed 9. Keep Feed Secure & Locked
Feed can attact pests so be sure to keep all feed in closed containers that are wildlife resistant and dry. See for more information.

Protect Hens 10. Protect Hens From Pests & Predators
Predators such as bears, raptors, and cougars must be kept away from your hens; you may want to consider electric fencing to reduce attracting predators. See for information and tips.

Disposal of Hens 11. Properly Dispose of Deceased Hens
The average life span of a chicken is around 8 years, but can range from 4 to 11 years. When they die you cannot dispose of chickens on your property or in the garbage pickup, you must either take them to Animal Control for cremation or to the landfill. If you wish to get rid of live hens contact local farmers and suppliers.

For educational inquiries, please contact, 250-828-3850. For Animal Control issues and inquiries, please contact or 250-828-3409.

Jennifer Casorso
Social and Community Development Supervisor
910 McGill Road
Kamloops, BC V2C 6N6
ph 250-828-3850

Note: All correspondence is entered into our system and will be directed accordingly. The City of Kamloops will endeavor to contact you within two business days. Thank you.