You are allowed to keep chickens (hens only) in your backyard, if you follow these steps:
1. Review the City bylaws to see if you qualify and what the requirements are.
2. Learn how to care for chickens.
3. Get a British Columbia Premises ID (BC PID) number from the Ministry of Agriculture.
4. Register your property/chickens with the City. Registration is free but mandatory.
Step 1: Review the City bylaws
The Zoning Bylaw and the Chicken Keeping Bylaw explains the rules and standards of care for keeping backyard chickens. This includes how many chickens you can keep, the necessary size and design of your coop and how to maintain the health and welfare of your chickens. Read and review the bylaws before proceeding with your backyard chicken application.
- Surrey Zoning Bylaw, 1993, 12000 (See General Provisions Section B.7(d) Keeping of Animals)
- Surrey Chicken Keeping Bylaw, 2016, No. 18754
Step 2: Learn how to care for hens
You are accountable for the health and welfare of your chickens. Failure to provide humane care for your chickens is considered an act of cruelty and will result in fines and/or charges. Educate yourself on best practices for backyard chicken keeping:
- How to prevent and detect disease in backyard flocks and pet birds (CFIA)
- Humane considerations for keeping of backyard hens (BC SPCA)
Step 3: Get a B.C. Premises ID Registration (BC PID) number from the Ministry of Agriculture
A BC Premises ID (BC PID) is a free, unique 9 character code assigned by the Ministry of Agriculture to properties who intend to keep livestock or poultry in the Province. Apply using one of the following:
- Complete Online Premises ID Registration Form
- Download and email PDF Form for Premises ID Registration
- Mail a copy of your completed registration form to:
BCPID, Ministry of Agriculture
1767 Angus Campbell Road
Abbotsford, BC V3G 2M3
Read the BC PID frequently asked questions sheet from the Ministry of Agriculture if you have questions.
Step 4: Register your hens with the City
You must have your BC PID number before you can register your property to keep chickens with the City. There are 3 options for submitting your Surrey Backyard Hen Registration:
- Complete the City Online Registration Form (fastest and preferred option)
- Download and Complete a PDF copy of the City Registration Form and email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Print, complete and mail a copy of the City Registration Form to:
Attn: Bylaws and Licensing Office
Backyard Hens, City of Surrey
13450 - 104 Avenue
Surrey, BC V3T 1V8
You will receive a letter or an email when your registration has been received and is validated by the city. When you have received this notification, you can then construct a coop and purchase your hens.
Questions or Concerns about Backyard Chickens
Contact Surrey By-Law Enforcement Division at 604-591-4370, or complete our online complaint form if you are concerned or have a complaint about backyard chickens, including:
- An owner who is not registered to keep chickens
Pests, insects, or wildlife are being drawn by the backyard chickens
The number of chickens being kept exceeds requirements or roosters are being kept
Noise or smell from the keeping of chickens
Concern over chickens that are injured, abandoned, stray / at large, or neglected
See our Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) Sheet for more information on chicken keeping in the City and other related resources.
If you have any questions or comments not answered above about keeping chickens in urban areas of the City, you may also contact:
City of Surrey Bylaw & Licensing Division
Phone: City Bylaws & Licensing Call Centre at 604-591-4370 (press1 for "Bylaw Complaints & Animal Control")
Mail: 13450 104 Avenue
Surrey, BC V3T 1V8
In addition the Surrey Animal Resource Centre may also be able to help you with general resident questions regarding the keeping of hens.
As of July 11, 2016, you are now able to keep up to four chickens (hens only) in your backyard if you live on a single family lot that is less than one acre but larger than 7,200 square feet, meet city requirements, and register your property with the City.This is in addition to those residents who live on lots that are greater than one acre who were already permitted to keep chickens prior to the adoption of a July 11, 2016 zoning bylaw amendment, as described in the June 13, 2016 Corporate Report No. R141 titled, "Bylaw Amendments for the Regulation of Domestic Hens; that proposed reductions to the minimum lot size standards to keep hens and created a new 'Surrey Chicken Keeping Bylaw’.