Oliver town council will be discussing an amendment to allow domestic ducks on private property

Let there be ducks

A request has come into Oliver town council to allow property owners to house domestic ducks within the town boundaries.

Randy Houle, the director of development services, will present the report to council on Monday with amendments to the animal control bylaw to permit the fowl.

Currently, chickens are the only type of poultry that are permitted. Ducks are not included in this list and are currently prohibited.

In a letter to council the property owner's request argues that duck eggs are important to their food security, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic and the lack of eggs available for purchase. It points out that duck eggs are larger and more dense than chicken eggs, and better for baking.

The letter states that ducks are generally quieter than chickens, they do not scratch or peck and their feces can be put directly into the garden for fertilizer.  

“After considering all these benefits, and being that we live across the street from a farm with a very loud rooster and chickens, we decided that ducks would be a better fit for our family and hopefully more considerate to our neighbours,” the letter reads.

Staff have been researching neighbouring communities' animal control bylaws. Most do not allow for ducks to be included in as domestic animals.   

The report stated that the staff are hesitant at this time about permitting ducks, since there is a lack of knowledge of impacts on the urban environment and they are not permitted by any of the nearby municipalities. 

If Council moves forward, Houle proposes that regulations should be put in place in regards to placing a maximum number based on the property size, and requiring that the coop be located at least 10 feet from the neighbouring property.

The town will be presented with the full report on Monday. 

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