Raising Backyard Hens in Oak Bay

Oak Bay supports local food production and the broader goal of food security. Only hens (female chickens) may be kept on residential lots within Oak Bay; roosters may not be kept. All references to "chickens" on this page refer to hens only.

Steps to Success:

Responsible ownership is the key to good relations with neighbours and a safe environment for the animals. This page is intended to provide information to help those interested in maintaining chickens on their personal property.

Step 1: Learn how to care for chickens

The health of the chickens, egg production, avoidance of pest infestations, and the impact on neighbours are all helped by understanding best practices around urban chicken care. We encourage you to research the time commitment, space, and equipment required to successfully raise chickens as the first step in this process. The following basic care documents should provide a starting point for your research.

Step 2: Review the District bylaws

The District bylaws set out all requirements for keeping backyard chickens, including the size and location of the coop  and other details. These bylaws protect the health of people living in the area and ensure the hens are treated humanely.

Hens may be kept, up to a maximum of:

  • five (5) for a parcel of area between  745 m2 and 1,858 m2
  • eight (8) for a parcel of area between 1,858 m2 and 4,047 m2
  • ten (10) for a parcel of area greater than 4,047 m2;

Bylaws related to chickens and coops:

Step 3: Build a chicken coop in compliance with municipal bylaws

Step 4: Purchase hens and register with the District of Oak Bay

After reviewing the basic care documents and related bylaws and building a coop, the chickens can be acquired.

Oak Bay is currently revising the bylaw that will outline the keeping and registration of chickens.  It is anticipated that the revised bylaw will be presented to Council in Spring 2013.