Mississauga decides not to proceed with an Urban Hen Program

City services | November 21, 2023

Mississauga City Council agreed with the staff recommendation to not proceed with a permanent city-wide Urban Hen program, following a feasibility report, learnings from a two-year Urban Hen Pilot and the results of a comprehensive public consultation process.

“Staff advised against creating a permanent City-wide Urban Hen Program for various reasons,” said Georgios Fthenos, Director of Enforcement at the City of Mississauga. “There was limited demand and participation in the Pilot, with only six households participating out of the eleven slots available. There was also apprehension among residents about urban hen keeping practices and the potential health and safety issues arising from inadequate access to veterinary care and the risk of avian influenza.”

A brown feathered chicken roaming in the grass

In addition to the Urban Hen Review report and the two-year Urban Hen Pilot, the City also conducted a comprehensive public consultation process, which included a virtual public education session, a virtual public engagement session and an online survey. More than 1,850 respondents completed the survey.

Key findings from the consultation

Of the survey respondents:

  • 9 per cent supported urban hen-keeping, 41.93 per cent were not in support and 4.20 per cent were unsure.
  • Most common concerns from residents interested in keeping hens was attracting predators, disapproval from neighbours, odour and mess and not knowing how to care for hens.
  • Most common concerns from residents not wanting to keep hens was attracting predators, noise/odour, health, sanitation and animal welfare.
  • Limited access to veterinary services and the risk of avian influenzafurther compounded the challenges of urban hen-keeping in Mississauga.

Fthenos added, “The public consultation was important to help us understand the level of interest in offering a permanent Urban Hen program as well as understanding some of the concerns residents had about hens being raised in their neighbourhood. There were also a lot of great insights collected during the pilot, which highlighted a few challenges like some households withdrawing from the pilot, having difficulty caring for hens or having to rehome them.”

Although the pilot has concluded, approved pilot participants are still permitted to keep their hens until the end of their natural lifespan. Participants must follow the terms and conditions of the pilot.

Animal Services will periodically re-inspect these properties for standards of care and status of hen numbers. Staff will continue to respond to complaints and enforce compliance with the Animal Care and Control By-law 0098-2004, as amended.

Learn more about Mississauga Animal Services on the City’s website.


City Council approved the Urban Hen Pilot on May 5, 2021. The 24-month pilot ran from May 5, 2021, to May 5, 2023.

The pilot provided 11 spots for Wards 5 and 6 participants and allowed an existing household in Ward 3 to participate. Residents in these wards who met specific requirements, such as minimum property setbacks, a maximum of four hens, and no violations of the Animal Care and Control By-law 0098 2004, were invited to participate.

Following a feasibility report in April 2021, staff were directed to pursue a public consultation and two-year pilot to determine resident interest in an Urban Hen Program. Public consultation was conducted between July and August 2021, with 1,858 respondents sharing their views on urban hen keeping.


Media contact:

City of Mississauga Media Relations
905-615-3200, ext. 5232
TTY: 905-896-5151