Talking backyard chickens in Plympton-Wyoming

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Noah Needham checks on the eggs in his family’s chicken coop in early December 2021/

It’s time to talk turkey – er – chicken in Plympton-Wyoming.
The town is holding open house events to gauge support for allowing families to raise chickens in their back yard.
The town’s bylaws don’t permit farm animals within residential areas. But in 2020, a complaint about a backyard coop brought the Needham family to council hoping to change the bylaw.
Jon Needham said at the time the chickens became a family project during the spring, when they were told to stay home during the pandemic. They raised the hens from chicks in their house and then built a coop, complete with lights, in their backyard which abuts a field and a wooded area.
When a neighbour complained, a bylaw enforcement officer from Lambton County came to the house saying the chickens would have to go.
Needham went to council to plead his case saying the birds had become good therapy for his son, Noah, who is autistic.
And he told council he was not the only one raising birds in the backyard. A local feed dealer estimated there could be upwards of 2,000 backyard chickens in the town.
The municipal planner at the time said there could be changes made and rules limiting the number of birds. But changes to the bylaws would have meant a public meeting. That was delayed, and the Needhams’ chickens were given a reprieve.
Now that pandemic restrictions have eased, council is moving forward with the discussion. It’s scheduled two open houses one June 21 at the Wyoming Fire Hall and the other June 23 at the Camlachie Community Centre. Both meetings start at 5 pm.