Meaford Bylaw Regulations

Meaford's bylaw is fairly extensive, so only a portion of it is found below.  Be sure to check out their page on Community, Small Scale and Urban Agriculture

"As part of the update to the Municipality's Official Plan, new policies were included to support local residents in efforts towards food sovereignty and the creation of a local food economy. In 2014 the Zoning By-law was updated to implement these policy directions, creating new permissions for Community & Urban Agricultural Uses such as Community Gardens, Urban and Rural Backyard Poultry, Hobby Beekeeping as well as the keeping of Accessory Livestock on Rural Residential lots.

By-law 077-2014 Community and Urban Agriculture By-law was passed by Council along-side the Zoning By-law Update to regulate the keeping of Backyard Poultry and the creation of Community Gardens. These two uses are broadly permitted but are subject to registration/permits before you begin.
Backyard Poultry (Chickens)

The Municipality of Meaford's Zoning By-law allows for the keeping of Backyard Poultry as an accessory use on a residential property.
Backyard Poultry is defined by the Zoning By-law as:
 "a pullet or hen kept for companionship as a pet or for the purpose of providing food for the personal consumption of occupants of a dwelling on the same lot" (Roosters are not permitted)
 A building, shelter, and/or animal enclosure for keeping Backyard Poultry must meet the standards of the Zoning By-law. Also, backyard chicken owners must complete the 'Application for the Keeping of Backyard Poultry' after reading a number of Chicken Care and Biosecurity resources. "

Registration and Permit Required:
By-law 77-2014
requires that Backyard Poultry be registered by the Municipality of Meaford and be authorized by permit. A short application form must be completed and submitted to the Municipality by the applicant.  Prior to completing the form, an applicant must review:
1. The requirements of the Zoning By
2.The OMAFRA Factsheet entitled “Biosecurity Recommendations for Small Flock Poultry Owners” available online
3. The Resource Kit entitled “Keeping Your Birds Healthy” distributed by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, available for direct order
from OMAFRA Agriculture Information Contact Centre.

Both OMAFRA publications are available for loan from the Meaford Public Library, or for viewing during business hours at the Municipal Administration Office at 2
1 Trowbridge Street West

Standards for Care & Maintenance:
Section2.4 of By-law 77-2014 outlines sixteen standards that must be met by a person keeping hens as Backyard Poultry.
Table 2 - Standards for Care & Maintenance
A person who keeps one or more hens as Backyard Poultry shall...
Provide each hen with at least 0.37 m squared of coop floor area and at least .92 m squared of covered outdoor enclosure
Provide and maintain a floor of any combination of vegetated or bare earth in each outdoor enclosure
Provide and maintain, in each coop, at least one roost giving 15cm of space per hen and also one nest box per four hens
Keep each hen in an enclosed area at all
Provide each hen with food, water, shelter, light, ventilation, veterinary care, and opportunities for essential behaviors, all sufficient to maintain the hen in good health
Maintain each hen enclosure in good repair and sanitary condition, and free from vermin and obnoxious smells and substances
Construct and maintain each hen enclosure to prevent any rodent from harbouring underneath or within its walls, and to prevent entrance by any other animal
Keep a food container and water in each coop
Keep each coop locked from sunset to sunrise
Remove leftover feed, trash, and manure in a timely manner
Store manure within an enclosed structure, and store no more than three cubic feet of manure at a time
Remove all other manure not used for composting or fertilizing
Follow biosecurity procedures recommended by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Keep hens for personal use only
Not slaughter, or attempt to euthanize, a hen on the property
Not dispose of a hen except by delivering it to slaughter unit, or other facility that has the ability to dispose of hens lawfully