If you like the idea of having a hobby farm, or just the benefits of easy access to farm produce, urban farming may be for you. But if you’re living in an apartment, or a suite without a yard, that can be hard. And if you’re living in a city that doesn’t allow animal raising in your yard, you may not be able to live your chicken dreams. So where can you move in Metro Vancouver or the Fraser Valley to keep an urban backyard chicken coop? We’ll explore your options in this article!
Move to the City of Vancouver so you can have a chicken coop
It may be hard to imagine the small Vancouver lots having enough room for a backyard urban farm – no less one with a chicken coop. But yes, if you move to Vancouver, you can set up a chicken coop in your yard, and the city encourages it! Only four though. They’re not totally crazy, sheesh.
In Vancouver, you have to register your chickens, however. You also have to follow some rules to keep things under control (we can’t have chickens roaming around our streets, attracting rodents or spreading disease, of course). You can’t have roosters, which we think would be an obvious bylaw for such a venture. Keep your neighbours happy by not waking them up at dawn! Also, while you may love that down to earth lifestyle, you can’t slaughter chickens in your urban Vancouver farm. But, chickens rarely result in complaints, so you should be ok.
In short: don’t move to Vancouver for a chicken coop if you thought it would be just like keeping a full operating farm on your property!
For more information on the city’s rules for urban farming and raising chickens, see this page of their website:
Also see this document about the city’s urban farming allowances:
Move to North Vancouver for even more chickens!
North Vancouver seems to be the most lenient, if not one of the most lenient on backyard chicken coops. Here is the link to their site for more rules:
You can keep up to 8 hens, but no roosters on your single-family dwelling in North Vancouver. You also don’t need to register your chickens, like in Vancouver. Yay for chickens!
Be careful though – since you’re closer to mountains, you may be more prone to bears popping by for them chickens. We wrote about this topic here:
Move to New Westminster and you might be able to rent chickens
According to this article by the New Westminster Record, backyard chicken coops are nothing new in city. And, a company now wants to let you rent chickens, so you can give them back once you realize how hard it is, or when the kids get tired of it! Anyway, if your property is big enough, you can have chickens in New West, so that makes it a hot spot for your next move in Metro Vancouver!
Move to Delta or Richmond to raise chickens on a big property
We’re combining these two cities since they’re so close.
According to the Corporation of Delta, chickens are definitely not pets. But if you have moved to a large enough parcel of land, you may be able to keep chickens. The aforementioned link document also has a great table, by the way, showing other cities that allow chickens, and the typical rules for having them. And, this news article explains more on the story of how that document came to be, in case you’re wondering why you probably can’t have chickens in Delta. You’re not the first to think of it, and it’s already been debated.
In Richmond, you need at least 2000 square metres to keep poultry, and you have to keep the area sanitary. If your chickens escape, they can be taken away from you too.
Moving to Burnaby to raise urban poultry in your yard? Probably not allowed.
Although it’s so close to Vancouver, if you move to Burnaby, you may not be allowed to raise urban poultry in your yard. We had a search, and the urban agriculture section the city’s website mentions nothing about chicken coops, though they do allow beekeeping:
If you search their site, or their bylaws, you also get nothing by typing in “chicken” or “coop.” So that’s a pretty good sign you should just avoid trying.
Moving to Coquitlam or Port Coquitlam for chickens? They are farm animals, not pets, the city says
According to this page of the city’s website, chickens need to be kept on farm-zoned properties. So if you have one, you get to keep chickens. If not, you can’t. Sounds simple as that.
The same seems to be true of Coquitlam’s rules, as we noted in this document.
Other places you can and can’t have a residential chicken coop in Metro Vancouver
We can’t cover them all here, but we did find a document that seems to state the places you can move to if you want a chicken coop. Here you go!
You’ll notice the document seems to contradict some of the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers we’ve given. Be sure to do your research! We have given you the documents we could find on these subjects, but you may find more in your search.
Moving to the Fraser Valley to have a backyard chicken coop? Stop right there
According to our research, we could only find resistance, not acceptance, to chickens in your backyard.
This seems to step from a fear of avian flu, according to this article:
It makes sense, since the area has industrial chicken farms that need to be protected from disease. The farmers are the real deal. The residents are just hobbyists that can mess things up. Let’s keep that in mind before bringing urban chickens into our homes. This stuff really happens, and it’s devastating for farmers.
A final word: Make sure you know how to raise chickens before you move for a chicken coop!
You really need to know what you’re doing to raise chickens. So don’t move in Vancouver or the Fraser Valley just to get a chicken coop. There are rules about animal control and animal rights you’ll need to be aware of. So it’s not just fun for the kids. This isn’t just a pet that gives you fresh eggs daily – it’s a commitment. Here are some resources to help you out:
- Where to move for groundwater access in B.C
- Fishing Licenses and Regulations When you Move to BC
- Coquitlam movers explore ideas on how to move pet birds and bird collections
- Coquitlam movers discuss whether you should wait for lost pets to return home before you move
- Avoiding Metro Vancouver’s Crow Attacks