Skip navigation

Backyard Chickens

Backyard Chickens

As part of City efforts to allow residents to get involved in their own urban food production, you can now keep chickens in your backyard on single family urban area lots that are more than 7,200 square feet.

There are several important rules you will need to comply with in order to keep a backyard chicken coop from being a nuisance for your neighbours, including:

  • A maximum of 12 head of poultry per acre, on lots greater than 1 acre but less than 5 acres; or 4 hens per lot, on lots greater than 7,200 square feet but less than 1 acre
  • Roosters are not allowed in residential areas on lots less than 5 acres.
  • Ducks, turkeys, or other fowl other than hens are not allowed on lots less than 1 acre.
  • Eggs, meat, or manure cannot be used for commercial purposes on lots less than 1 acre.

Steps to Raising 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 Surrey Zoning Bylaw and the Surrey Chicken Keeping Bylaw explain 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 these 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. Start with these helpful resources:

Step 3: Get a BC Premises ID Registration Number

A BC Premises ID (BC PID) is a free code assigned by the Ministry of Agriculture to property owners who intend to keep livestock or poultry in the Province. Apply for one by completing the Online Premises ID Registration Form, or fill out the BC Premises ID Registration form and submit it via email or regular mail.

Step 4: Register your hens 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 Bylaw 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 Questions guide for more information on chicken keeping in the City.

If you have any questions or comments not answered above about keeping chickens in urban areas of the City, please contact backyardhens@surrey.ca or the City Bylaws & Licensing Call Centre at 604-591-4370 (press 1 for Bylaw Complaints, Animal Control)

The Surrey Animal Resource Centre can also answer general questions regarding the keeping of hens.

Backyard Chickens Background Information

As of July 2016, residents in Surrey are now able to keep up to four chickens (hens only) in their backyards if they live on a single family lot that is less than one acre but larger than 7,200 square feet. Owners must meet city requirements and register their 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 entitled Bylaw Amendments for the Regulation of Domestic Hens that proposed reductions to the minimum lot size standards to keep hens and created the new Surrey Chicken Keeping Bylaw.

Learn more about raising additional types of livestock in Surrey city limits.