The City ‘hatches’ its urban hen licensing program again

The City of Calgary is pleased to announce the official launch of a much-anticipated program recognizing urban hens as licenced pets under the updated Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO) Bylaw.

After the success of the 2022 pilot project that allowed 100 people to keep backyard hens, The City has released an unlimited number of licences this year.

Beginning Wednesday, March 29, Calgarians can apply for an urban livestock licence to keep backyard hens. The program is aligned with national care guidelines and structured similarly to other municipalities across Canada that have successfully implemented urban hen programs.

“We heard from Calgarians that modern pet ownership means more than just caring for cats and dogs,” said Tara Decker, Coordinator of Administration and Pet Licensing, Animal Services. “The rules are designed to mitigate concerns before they start - things like not allowing roosters, and ensuring proper housing, training, care conditions and opportunities to address any concerns from your community,” says Decker.


Calgarians interested in applying for an urban livestock licence will need to ensure egg-cellent hen-keeping training and caretaking to meet the application criteria:

  • Be 18+ years old or have a parent or guardian apply on their behalf.
  • Complete approved hen-keeping and care training.
  • Own the property hens will be kept on or have written permission from the property owner.
  • Acquire a free Premise Identification (PID) Number from the Government of Alberta.
  • Hen licences must number 2 to 4, as hens are group animals.

Applicants must also contact Planning and Development to discuss where the coop will be built in their backyards.

More information on the urban hen program and licensing criteria is now available on

- 30 -