Qualicum Beach backyard chicken pilot project moves forward

Qualicum Beach backyard chicken pilot project moves forward

Amendment made to conditions on killing chickens

The Qualicum Beach Backyard Chickens Pilot Project moved to third reading, with Mayor Teunis Westbroek voting against it once again, after a public hearing at Monday’s (April 10) regular council meeting.

The three-year pilot project would be for up to 30 households to keep up to six chickens or ducks.

Six people from the gallery got up to speak in support of the pilot project, including

Kevin Monahan, who said while he was in support of backyard chickens, he thought the condition that “no slaughtering of chickens or ducks is permitted on the property” should be removed.

“What is one to do with a spent fowl that’s no longer able to lay eggs and earn its keep? Where is one to take the chicken to have it killed?” he asked council.

Jeannie Shaver, who brought forward the idea for backyard chickens to council last year, said raising chickens will help her children learn patience and responsibility.

“As a result of helping to raise a couple of backyard chickens, they will have learned responsibility,” Shaver said. “They will not be able to participate in soccer, taekwondo, ballet and piano because they will have a coop to clean out.”

When asked by Westbroek what to do with the spent fowl, Jeannie Shaver said she would look to national standards of how to dispose of the chicken.

Coun. Barry Avis said these chickens almost become like pets. Shaver agreed.

“It does seem for a lot of my friends who have chickens… that they do become pets, especially when you only have two or three or four birds,” Shaver said. “The kids give them names, they come when they’re called, it’s more of a pet-domestic situation than it is a giant flock for agricultural purposes.”

Not to be deterred, Westbroek asked how people would kill a chicken that has become almost like a pet. Shaver said that would be another lesson down the road.

Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer put forward a motion to withdraw the no slaughtering condition from the project. All of council voted in favour.

Westbroek wanted to know if staff would be able to find other ways to dispose of the chickens before the bylaw adoption which staff confirmed they would. Planning director Luke Sales said there were two places to dispose of chickens: the Cluck Stops Here in Whiskey Creek and Al’s Feathers Be Gone in Port Alberni.