How do I become an egg farmer in Manitoba? Anyone can raise up to 99 laying hens without having a laying hen quota or a non-registered certificate, providing municipal laws allow the raising of poultry.
Can I sell my eggs to a restaurant or a grocery store?
Ungraded eggs can be sold to the public directly from your farm, but they cannot be sold to grocery stores, restaurants or caterers. Nor can ungraded eggs be sold door-to-door or at Farmers’ Markets.
How can I get my eggs graded?
There are two major commercial graders in Manitoba. Graders do not grade eggs on consignment, instead they match the demand for eggs from retailers and foodservice with a consistent supply of eggs from regulated egg farmers. All commercial graders in the province are regulated and must meet the terms and conditions set out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
What about non-registered certificates?
Prior to 1985, anyone could keep up to 499 laying hens. When the provincial government reduced the exemption level to 99 hens, farmers who had been raising up to 499 hens were grandfathered and issued designated small non-registered certificates. Designated non-registered certificates have limited transferability and are available as follows:
- From time to time, if a non-registered certificate holder decides to cease producing eggs, he/she may surrender his certificate to Manitoba Egg Farmers (MEF). When this occurs, the certificate may be re-issued to someone within the same geographical district. However, not many certificates are surrendered each year.
- In the event a certificate holder sells the farm on which the production facilities are located, the vendor can make a request to MEF to have the certificate transferred to the farm purchaser.
- If a person can provide proof that he/she was raising between 100 and 499 laying hens during the qualifying period (February 27, 1984 to February 26, 1985, inclusive), he/she may be entitled to a Designed Small Non-Registered Certificate. Proof might be in the form of copies of invoices for chicks or gradeouts for egg sales during the qualifying period.