Council to discuss amending bylaw to allow domestic ducks
A special request to house domestic ducks has Town council looking at possibly amending the Animal Control Bylaw.
The director of development services (Randy Houle) will present a report on Monday outlining a request by a property owner to permit domestic ducks within town boundaries.
Currently, the bylaw prohibits anyone from feeding or setting our food for ducks, geese and other waterfowl.
The bylaw also prohibits anyone from owning or harbouring any animal other than dogs, cats, fish, caged birds, rodents, reptiles and chickens.
Houle said the property owner’s request in this case speaks to the importance of duck eggs for food security, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He admitted that staff are hesitant about permitting ducks given the “lack of knowledge of impacts on the urban environment and because they are not permitted by any of the nearby municipalities.”
In a letter to council, the property owner (family of six) stated they consume five to six dozen eggs per month but are subjected to grocery store restrictions due to the pandemic.
The property owner noted that duck eggs are larger than chicken eggs and provide more “lift” in baked goods.
She noted that many small duck breeds are quieter than chickens and don’t scratch up your garden. In addition, duck poop can be put directly on the garden for fertilizer without harming plants.
“We decided that ducks would be a better fit (than chickens) for our family and hopefully more considerate to our neighbours.”
Houle said if council does permit domestic ducks, guidelines should be in place to address the maximum number allowed per property, and requiring the coop to be located a minimum of 10 feet from the neighbouring property.