Raising chickens

Small poultry flocks provide many benefits to those who keep them. Before you start a flock or if you have a flock, there are some things to know and do to help you raise your chickens.

Read the Raising Chickens in Alberta – a guide for small flock owners (PDF, 21 MB). This guide is for small flock, backyard and urban chicken owners to help:

  • determine if regulations allow you to raise chickens in your area
  • meet the basic needs of your chickens including feed, water, light, ventilation and housing
  • identify diseases and inappropriate behaviours of chickens and how to prevent them
  • adjust your management of the flock to address Alberta’s extreme weather conditions
  • take steps to keep your flock safe from predators and disease (biosecurity)
  • keep your family safe from disease that can come from live poultry and poultry products

Chicken updates

Here is some information to keep you up-to-date in the world of raising chickens:

  • Since May 2018, the United States Department of Agriculture has confirmed several cases of virulent Newcastle Disease (Exotic Newcastle Disease) in backyard exhibition chickens in California.
  • In June 2018, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry changed the way it responds to cases of infectious laryngotracheitis detected in small flocks.
  • Start Clean Stay Clean program – Egg Farmers of Alberta invite non-quota table egg-producing chicken owners to participate in its layer on-farm food safety program.
  • The program helps ensure that table egg farmers implement good management practices during the production, storage and distribution of shell eggs to eliminate or mitigate risks to food safety.
  • Registered grading stations in Alberta only accept table eggs from chicken flocks enrolled in the program.
  • For more information, call Egg Farmers of Alberta at 1-877-302-2344.
  • Antibiotics must be used wisely so they continue to be effective for people and animals. As of December 2018, all medically important antimicrobials require a prescription from a veterinarian.