Urban Hens


Municipal Office

395 Mulock Drive P.O. Box 328 Station Main, Newmarket, Ontario
L3Y 4X7

Email Us


In 2015, Council received a deputation from a resident encouraging the Town to regulate backyard hens. On February 8, 2016, Council endorsed a 12 month pilot project in Ward 2 for up to five (5) residential properties, effective March 1, 2016.  

​​Current Status of the By-law:​

On June 6, 2017, Council expanded the pilot project making it town-wide and amended the Animal Control By-law to remove chickens from the prohibited animals list. 


  • An application must be submitted to the Town for approval with required documentation;
  • A maximum of three hens per lot is permitted on any residential property (excludes Multi-Residential);
  • All hens must be at least four months old;
  • The keeping of roosters is prohibited;
  • A tenant must obtain permission from the property owner to keep hens on the owner's property;
  • Permission must be obtained from all abutting property owners;
  • The owner of the hens must reside on the property where the hens are kept;
  • Hens must be kept in their coops from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.;
  • A minimum enclosure size of 10 square feet per hen;
  • Hens must be kept in an enclosed hen run when not in their coop;
  • Hen coops and runs shall be a distance of 1.2m from the rear lot line and 1.2m from any side lot line of the dwelling lot on which the hen coop is located;
  • Hen coops and hen runs shall be a minimum distance of 3m from all windows and doors of dwellings that are located on an abutting property;
  • Hen coops shall be less than 2.4m in height;
  • Hen coops are not permitted in any front yard;
  • Hen coops and hen runs shall be maintained in a clean condition and the coop shall be kept free of obnoxious odo​urs, substances and vermin; and
  • Home slaughter of hens is prohibited and any deceased hens shall be disposed of at a livestock disposal facility or through the services of a veterinarian


Application for the Keeping of Egg Laying Hens

Neighbour Authorization Form - Keeping of Egg Laying Hens

Additional Information

​ Legislative Services Information Report 2017-08 - Backyard Hens Pilot Project Update​

By-law 2017-34 - A By-law to Amend By-law Number 2016-53 (Animal Control By-law)

Urban Hens Pilot Project - Ward 2 - PIC Document

Corporate Services - Legislative Services Report 2016-04 regarding Ward 2 Egg Laying Hens Pilot Project

For more information, please contact the Licensing Division at licensing@newmarket.ca or by telephone at 905-953-5300 ext. 2221.