Motivations and the lived experience of keeping non-permitted backyard chickens in the city of Winnipeg
A shortage of academic literature exists on North American backyard chicken (BYC) keeping. This is particularly apparent when we ask why people keep backyard chickens in North American cities. This thesis examines individuals’ motivations and lived experiences with raising non-permitted BYC within the City of Winnipeg, using a phenomenological approach and Hanisch’s (2006) the Personal is Political theoretical perspective. Participants were motivated to keep BYC for food production, learning opportunities, leisure and companionship. Motivations were personal and often partly political. Sources of satisfaction derived from keeping BYC included food products, by-products and production, increased sense of connection, enjoyment, leisure, entertainment and companionship, learning opportunities, and doing what felt right. Fear of being found out, isolation and negative stereotypes were challenges experienced. Should the existing bylaw change, permitting BYC on residential Winnipeg properties, participants recommended imposing BYC-specific regulations and public education as a way of addressing concerns and mitigating potential issues.