Keeping of Hens

Keeping hens is allowed within the City of Dawson on urban-residential properties provided the property is owner occupied and the property owner has obtained the required permit.

Apply for Hen Permit 

There is no application fee for a hen permit. A completed Hen Permit Application (see below for form) can be submitted to Bylaw Services, City of Dawson

 in person at 1336 Front Street
 by email to
 by mail to PO Box 308, Dawson City, YT Y0B 1G0
 by fax to (867) 993-7434
Within 14 days of receipt of an application for a hen permit, Bylaw Services shall review the application to ensure it is complete and meets all requirements. Applications that are not complete or contravene a provision of the bylaw shall be returned, after which the applicant may address any deficiencies and resubmit. A coop inspection is required prior to final approval of the permit.

Once the coop is in place, and prior to housing of hens, Bylaw Services will conduct an inspection of the coop. Once the coop passes inspection, Bylaw Services will post an inspection certificate on the coop, which must be left in place for the permit to remain valid.

General Regulations
  • A permit holder may not at any time keep a rooster.
  • For properties that are 0.81 ha or smaller, a permit holder may keep up to six hens.
  • For properties larger than 0.81 ha, additional bird units shall be allowed pursuant to the Animal Control Bylaw.
  • Keeping hens shall be for personal use only; there shall be no sale of products derived from hens.
Coop Development Regulations
A coop must include a walled, roofed structure and an outdoor pen, and must:
    • be securely enclosed to prevent the escape of hens and the entrance of any other animal,
    • be no more than 10 m² in floor area,
    • be no more than 2 m high,
    • be no less than 1.5 m from any rear parcel line,
    • be no less than 3.0 m from any exterior side parcel line,
    • be no less than 0.6 m from any interior side parcel line,
    • provide at least 0.37 m² of interior-floor area per hen,
    • provide at least 0.92 m² of outdoor-pen area per hen,
    • provide a floor of any combination of vegetated or bare earth in the outdoor-pen area,
    • provide at least one nest box and perch per hen, with each perch being at least 18 cm long, and
    • conform to all other accessory structure regulations pursuant to the Zoning Bylaw.
Caring for Hens Regulations
The Animal Control Bylaw includes specifications for ensuring the safe and ethical treatment of animals, attracting wildlife into neighbourhoods is avoided, and conflict with neighbouring properties is minimized. A person who keeps one or more hens must:
    • keep each hen in the coop at all times and keep each hen in the indoor coop between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.,
    • provide each hen with food, water, shelter, light, ventilation, veterinary care, and opportunities for essential behaviours sufficient to maintain the hen in good health, such as scratching, dust bathing, and roosting,
    • keep each coop securely closed at all times, maintained in good repair and sanitary condition, and free from vermin and obnoxious smells and substances,
    • construct and maintain each coop to prevent rodents from harbouring underneath or within it or within its walls and to prevent entrance by other animals,
    • keep a food container and water container in each coop,
    • remove leftover feed, trash, and manure in a timely manner ,
    • store manure within a fully enclosed structure and store no more than three cubic feet of manure at a time unless directed to remove and dispose of such manure sooner,
    • not keep a hen in a cage, except when actively transporting the hen off property, and
    • ensure if a hen is slaughtered, it is done in an efficient and humane manner that does not subject hen to avoidable discomfort.