After much consideration and questioning from various people, I decided to call my township to inquire about the by-laws surrounding the keeping of chickens on one's property. I was informed that in 1979 a by-law prohibiting farm animals was passed and that it included poultry, among other animals such as cows, horses, goats etc... If I wished to apply for an amendment, to said by-law, I could do so (at a cost of $2,630) or risk a fine of 'no more than $25,000' The man was quite kind actually and said that they do not go around town looking for residents who have not complied with this specific by-law, but if a complaint was made that the township would have to respond to it, more than likely by issuing a notice saying that I would have X number of days to remove the chickens from my property or risk facing a fine (probably in and around $200).
Now I really don't like doing things that are against the rules. It just rubs me the wrong way. So I asked him if there was any other recourse I could take in this matter without having to spend $2,630 on what was supposed to be a fun project for the girls and I. The man at the township kindly replied that I could contact the aldermen for my ward and bring my request to them in hopes that they would agree and feel pressed to ask for a general amendment to the by-law.
So this is where we at now. I am in the process of drafting up a letter to my two aldermen and am hoping to bring to their attention the fact that over 300 cities in North America allow residential keeping of poultry (with regulations of course) and that in Smithville (The Chicken Capital of Canada) we should be allowed to do the same. Wish me luck.