Although a backyard hen pilot was voted down by Cochrane council, clucks of support are heard from many neighbouring towns, sparking the qustion will Cochrane be left with egg on their face?!

Jennifer Walden, Founder of CLUCK Cochrane is gathering information for another crack at gaining council support for a pilot program. 

Chicken supporters are plentiful in town, shares Walden who has gained enough interest from at least 31 community members who are not just interested in the idea, but willing to become part of the project.

"Last week I was at 26 or 27 and this week I have had 5 more people contact me to say 'is it too late, can I get in on that list? I want to make sure my name is on that list.' I have a pretty strong list that have committed to participating in the pilot project not just people who are possibly interested in the future."

Walden's passion to pursue sustainable urban agriculture has her diligently looking at surrounding communities and how they have fared. Turner Valley and Black Diamond have just wrapped up their pilot project, and Walden says to her knowledge predators were not a noted concern even though they border Kananaskis Park.

"They have their bylaw now, they are done their pilot program, it was such a success down there. As far as I know from everyone I have spoken to they have not had any predator problems at all. When we talk about communities that would be comparable as wildlife predators, as I know that was a big concern of council members, I think the are a pretty good comparison for us probably even more remote than us. Other communities like Rocky Mountain House, they have backyard hens and they actually have a lot of cougars, the people I have spoken with up there who have hens have never heard of any predator problems up there as well."

Airdrie is also revisiting urban agriculture including the possibility of chickens, says Stephen Utz, City of Airdrie, Team Leader for Planning and Development.

"We collected information in 2014 and we presented it to council at that time. Presently we receive inquiries from residents on an occasional basis about a potential urban agriculture program; we are using our staffing resources to determine and provide a report back to council in the coming months and we will determine whether or not the pilot project can be facilitated at that time."

The City of Airdrie did extensive research in 2013/14 and while back then backyard bees and hens were less supported, interest could have easily changed.

Walden adds if Cochrane misses out on an opportunity due to lack of factual information it would be an incredible shame.

"I think we're not utilizing our yards enough, we're not utilizing the space that we have, and we just live in such a great place that has such opportunity for so many things. We have a ranching heritage in our community but we're not actually utilizing the land we have."

While she has no firm date as to when she will appear in front of council, one thing is guaranteed, it may ruffle a few feathers.

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