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Backyard Chickens

Backyard Chickens

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.

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:

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:

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:

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
Email: backyardhens@surrey.ca
Phone: City Bylaws & Licensing Call Centre at 604-591-4370 (press1 for "Bylaw Complaints & Animal Control")
Fax: 604-591-4465
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.

Background Information

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’.