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There are three classifications of egg farming in BC: Backyard Flock Producers, Small Lot Producers, and Registered Producers.
No quota or registration is required for Backyard Flock Producers as long as the number of hens does not exceed 99. Every municipality has different rules regarding backyard chickens, so be sure to check your local bylaws. For information on selling ungraded eggs, click here.
To become a Small Lot Producer, simply register through the Small Lot Program. Small Lot Producers do not require quota.
To become a registered producer, you must be issued quota from the BC Egg Marketing Board.
There are three ways to obtain quota and become a Registered Producer:
All producers/farms who have between 100 and 399 laying hens should register with BC Egg through the Small Lot Program. There is an annual permit fee of $250 which includes:
Please note you must be at least 19 years of age to apply for a Small Lot permit. This program is open to any number of participants.
Just as with larger farms, Small Lot farmers are required to maintain specific standards of food safety and biosecurity. This is especially critical during peak migratory season when wild birds mix with domestic flocks, or during periods of high risk of disease spread.
The following biosecurity and food safety guides are additional resources designed specifically for small lot production.
Unless a farmer sends his/her eggs to a grading station, the eggs produced on small lot farms are considered “ungraded” and BC has strict rules and laws surrounding the sale of ungraded eggs. Please see our Selling Ungraded Eggs page for more information.
Appendix III in the following document provides guidelines for the sale of eggs at farmers’ markets:
For more information on the Small Lot Program, please contact Scott Miles, Operations Assistant, at the BC Egg office.
If a wild bird is found dead on or near a poultry operation, call the Wild Bird Mortality Investigation Program hotline, 1-866-431-2473. If the report is assessed to require further investigation a biologist may retrieve the carcass for further testing.
For a brief overview of Avian Influenza and why it’s a concern, visit our article “Avian Influenza: A Primer.“
Effective June 15, 2023, BC’s Chief Veterinarian (CV) has lifted General Orders AIV2023-02 and AIV2022-08, restricting the comingling of birds and requiring poultry quota-holders to keep their birds indoors.
These Orders were in place to help combat the spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). The CV has determined that it is now safe to revoke the Orders, based on the following criteria:
The CV may issue new General Orders at any time, should it be deemed necessary in order to control HPAI.
There have been no new cases of HPAI detected in BC since the pigeon farm in Yarrow tested positive at the end of April. That farm, Infected Premise (IP) 104, has now reached the milestone of “capping its piles,” has finished disinfection and decontamination, and has moved to the 28-day surveillance period that follows an outbreak.
During this post-outbreak surveillance period, all farms in the Primary Control Zone (PCZ) around IP 104 are required to participate in Dead Bird Surveillance, as directed by the CFIA. If you are in the PCZ, you will have been contacted by CFIA. We ask for the continued support and assistance of all affected farms to clear the post-outbreak surveillance as quickly as possible.
It is advised that all poultry farmers maintain Red Biosecurity protocols while this last PCZ is still active. Remember that there are resources to help you navigate HPAI and this heightened level of biosecurity available on the BC Egg website.
Small flock poultry owners are needed to participate in a study on Avian Influenza, biosecurity, and the communication of resources.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the Pacific Institute on Pathogens, Pandemics and Society are seeking small flock poultry owners to participate in an online survey and one-on-one interviews.
The purpose of their research is to improve how governments and other groups communicate and share resources about Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and ways to strengthen biosecurity.
The survey is open to residents of BC or the Yukon who currently own (or seasonally raise) poultry, including chickens, turkeys and ducks (up to 300 birds). Participants will receive a $10 coffee card as a thank-you for participating in the survey and a $25 gift card for participating in an interview. The survey must be completed by June 30, 2023.
To learn more about the study, or to sign up for an interview or take the survey, please click here.
Did you know that BC Egg has a cookbook? We’ve partnered with Chef Dez to create an egg-ceptional collection of egg-focused recipes! Featuring your favourites from the BC Egg website, Chef Dez classic creations, and all-new recipes featuring eggs, you’ll be as egg-cited as we are to get cracking in the kitchen with this fantastic new resource.
This collaboration is available on Amazon.ca for just $19.99. To purchase your copy, please click here!
Please note that BC Egg does not receive any revenue from the sale of this cookbook, but we hope it will encourage readers to egg-spand their love for eggs!
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is moving quickly across North America. Generally, the path of HPAI has followed wild bird migratory patterns who are known carriers of the HPAI pathogen. The first flocks impacted by HPAI were located on the east coast and since that time the virus has been found throughout poultry flocks making its way to the west. Two days ago we received notice of three confirmed HPAI cases in flocks located in Olds, Alberta. This disease is highly contagious among poultry and results in extremely high mortality rates. The risk of your flock contracting the virus can be lessened through careful implementation of strict biosecurity protocols.
Due to the rapid spread of HPAI the BC Poultry Association is recommending an immediate move to Red Biosecurity Status. This is the most rigorous level of biosecurity standards and is necessary to help slow the spread of HPAI. Please review Enhanced Biosecurity Guidelines for Small Lot Producers – Red to learn what this move means to your farm. This document and additional biosecurity resources are available on our Small Lot Farms webpage.
Our actions today can help prevent HPAI taking hold in BC. Be sure to follow all the biosecurity recommendations and always err on the side of caution. When the risk has lessened and the Biosecurity status is changed a follow up message will be sent.