Cornwall resident petitioning council to allow chickens, goats

Mitch MacDonald
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Rosalyn Abbott holds one her pet hens when she was a Summerside resident. Abbott had to give her three hens away when her family moved to Cornwall since the town doesn't allow livestock to be kept on residential properties.

Rosalyn Abbott seeking to allow small flocks of egg-laying hens, miniature female goats on residential properties

CORNWALL - Rosalyn Abbott isn't counting her chickens before they hatch.

However, the Cornwall resident is hoping public support will convince town council to take another look at allowing small flocks of egg-laying hens and female goats on residential properties.

An online petition started by Abbott has collected nearly 300 signatures after a resolution to amend a residential bylaw was turned down by council last fall.

"I was disappointed and didn't feel ready to give up on the effort. I thought creating a petition could show that there are other residents in Cornwall supportive of this kind of change," said Abbott, "In the town's official plan it talks about how important it is to maintain the rural cultural heritage of Cornwall and blend that with modern values."

Current bylaws don't allow any animals considered livestock to be kept in properties zoned residential.

Abbott's family moved to Cornwall about 17 months ago and were planning on keeping half a dozen chickens and several small goats.

They were previously living in Summerside, where they kept three backyard chickens after being granted a permit by council.

It wasn't until after buying their Cornwall property that Abbott realized they couldn't have animals on their new property.

Abbott said the change has been tough to explain to her three children, who helped look after the chickens.

"They didn't really understand why they wouldn't be able to have them especially when there's so much more room in our backyard," said Barton. "We have one acre of wooded property and live in quite a rural area of Cornwall."

Abbott said the town's planning board told her that rather than rezoning her property to allow for the hens, an amendment would have to be made to the bylaw.

That resolution was voted down 5-1 by council, with Coun. Elaine Barnes being the only one to support it.

Abbott said much of the concern seemed to stem from possible odour and noise issues.

However, she said most municipalities allowing backyard chickens do not allow roosters or intact male goats, which tend to be noisier, smellier and more aggressive.

"As for smell, its really easy to maintain a coop and pen if you clean it properly, we're looking at a very small number of animals," said Abbott. "Particularly in Cornwall, there are already agricultural areas that have an odour."

Many residents who've signed the petition have also left messages of support.

"I live just outside of Cornwall and I have a small chicken flock of my own," Reiner MacDonald wrote on the petition. "I know how expensive food has become and how animals are treated in large factory farms. I'd rather know where my food is coming from and what is going into my animals."

With no set goal for the petition, Abbott is hoping to get as many signatures as she can, especially from those living in Cornwall.

"I think this is something people are starting to take an interest in, not only because they love farm animals but because of rising food prices and a lower level of confidence in Canada's food distribution," she said. "It's also a way to teach children to be healthy and engage in their community, spend time outside and learn where their food comes from."

Organizations: Cornwall town council

Geographic location: Cornwall, Summerside, Canada

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • marsha
    June 23, 2016 - 17:14

    where can I sign the petition? ive been wanting chickens for a while now.I own a nice size property and would be nice to have a few chickens running around

  • warren
    February 17, 2016 - 20:29

    Many people don't realize chickens need water year round not just on the nice days, water freezes in winter. Chickens die and their bodies must be disposed of, their feces is smelly in the summer., they do attract mink,skunks and racoons.They also need proper housing and can be quite noisy. Just some things to think about for the urban farmers out there. I'm not even going to start on goats, but will just say the city is not the place for them.

  • wondering
    February 17, 2016 - 13:24

    Why not? What ever happened to the wave of support to buy goods within 100 miles? You will be hard pressed to find PEI or Canadian produce in stores now, a lot of vegetables and produce appear to come from Mexico and Chile. Does anyone else wonder about what pesticide laws exist in those places, or what we may be eating? It concerns our family. She probably should have checked out the situation in Cornwall first before moving there. However, she does know where some of her food was raised and how.

  • enough already
    February 17, 2016 - 12:02

    I hope they do allow animals , as a pest control provider I would see and dramatic increase in business in a short time.

  • Fed up
    February 17, 2016 - 11:48

    Who wants chickens and a GOAT yapping nextdoor?!? Front page news?!? Go live on a farm if you want animals. Machine if she's allowed...then others would start. It would create a nightmare! Bad enough now that we put up with wood smoke...from burning wet wood...and dear only knows what else stinks! All we need would be goats and chickens! Here would they draw the line? Chickens. Then more hens. Rooster crowing. Goat yapping. Then turkey's? Horses. Cows. PIGS?!? Imagine the. Smells! Go live on a farm if you want the se...

    February 17, 2016 - 10:46

    well the hens are fine but don't get goats if they get out they will eat any tree or what they can and the bill will be for you to pay ;I had goats and they ate everything in site 'there went good money for nothing ;think before you get them''''

  • Rob
    February 17, 2016 - 08:15

    Very sad. chickens are harmless and it only takes 3 or 4 to feed a family. this was an ill-informed decision by lack of knowledge. if we ever want to be pesticide free, we just eliminated a beneficial factor of being pesticide free lawns as they eat bugs and insects as that what chickens are suppose to eat. here is an example of this decision. Joe Doe lives on ferry road and there is a field of horses right across the road. besides that field is a potato field that gets sprayed (which it has to be) and behind his house is another potato field. which gets sprayed but joe cannot have three chickens to provide good nutritious food for his family. take care of his lawn without pesticides. Sad day when you cant have three chickens.

  • mad as hell
    February 16, 2016 - 21:04

    Yes to animals. I bet the same people who don't want their neighbours to have a few chickens are the same ones who let their dogs roam free - which is illegal.

    • Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right
      February 17, 2016 - 11:52

      If you want to live on a farm buy a farm!