British Columbia’s poultry industry has four primary supply-managed commodities:
- Chicken (meat)
- Layer (egg)
Smaller sectors include layer pullet growers, layer breeders and other poultry such as ducks, geese, squab (pigeon), pheasant, quail and silkie chickens.
Commodity-specific organizations (see the industry links to the right) have information about specific housing systems.
Poultry housing, handling and care requirements in B.C. are set by the respective marketing boards, and minimum standards are set by the National Farm Animal Care Council. All supply-managed producers are subject to regular audits of their on-farm animal welfare standards, biosecurity and food safety programs. Learn more:
Small flocks are common on acreages across British Columbia. Small flocks may include rare or specialty poultry breeds, or other species, such as pheasants, ducks, geese or other game birds. B.C. has produced a comprehensive manual to guide small-flock owners in managing their birds. Learn more:
- Small Flock Poultry Health manual (PDF, 4.4MB)
Many small flock producers sell their eggs at local markets and to neighbours for consumption. Eggs can be the source of many foodborne illnesses, but by taking steps to ensure proper egg handling practices are done, it can significantly reduce the chances of an illness occurring.
- Small Flock Egg Handling fact sheet (PDF, 2.2MB)
In some areas of B.C. with large amounts of small-flock producers, there are local groups which represent small flocks. These groups are excellent resources, providing local information on poultry and often holding information meetings and other events. Learn more:
In January of 2015, the Animal Health Act was updated to allow the Province to better manage and respond to animal diseases to:
- Strengthen detection and management of diseases that can spread between animals and humans
- Ensure that B.C.'s farms are competitive by preventing, promptly detecting and eradicating animal diseases
- Reflect the realities of increasing global travel and trade
Poultry is a regulated market in British Columbia. For questions about regulated markets, please contact:
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has a mandate to ensure a safe food supply for everyone in Canada. Other local, provincial and federal legislation and regulations apply.