GenNow, the Town of Drumheller millennial committee are proposing residents of Drumheller be allowed to keep a limited number of hens in urban areas.
Members of GenNow Erica Crocker and Riddel Wiebe appeared in front of Council at its Committee of the Whole Meeting on September 8 to discuss urban hens. They are lobbying to allow residents to keep domesticated poultry including chickens and quail.
“Many people today, especially in the millennial committee feel very much tied and restricted to the supermarkets and what they carry and what they can bring in,” said Wiebe. “A lot of people, especially millennials, are getting a lot of pride in stuff they can make with their own hands, whether it is growing a garden or raising birds for meat or eggs.”
They presented information from other centres including Edmonton and Lacombe and how they navigated implementing a bylaw. Some of the guidance they recommend is allowing residents to keep hens and quail, but not roosters, limiting the number of birds, and prohibiting the sale of meat or eggs. The program could stimulate the local economy benefitting hardware stores with residents buying coops, lumber, supplies, and feed.
Wiebe said this is an opportune time to propose this as the town is working drafting a new Municipal Development Plan and Land Use Bylaw.
“We figured they are reviewing it right now, and it’s not that much extra work to add this possibility to it,” he said.
Drumheller CAO Darryl Drohomerski tells the Mail there has been a lot of interest in the Valley.
“There are a variety of people wanting to do this. We think this is really an interesting opportunity and there is a possibility to make it work for Drumheller,” he said.
He adds this has not been discussed by council for about 12 years, said they will investigate the possibility more.
“We have asked administration to bring back a report and GenNow is going to work with administration on it,” said Drohomerski.