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Small scale poultry and egg production

7 Jul 2020 1:24 PM | Alex James (Administrator)

This webinar covered the information for people thinking of keeping production poultry on a small scale for eggs, meat or live chicken sales. The webinar was recorded on Saturday 27 June 2020 and features Dr Lou Baskind, District Veterinarian from South East Local Land Services, and Wendy Hutton, a chicken farmer from just outside Canberra.

Watch the webinar recording

Key messages:

  • Check with your local council about what planning permissions are required for the size of your enterprise. You may require a permit for some agricultural enterprises depending on your zone and the type of business. Roadside stalls have specific requirements. Requirements vary between Councils. 
  • There are rules in NSW that govern the production of eggs on a small scale. You will need an egg stamp if selling from somewhere other than your own farm gate. Check out the NSW Food Authority Guidelines.
  • The best way to keep your eggs clean is to provide clean nesting boxes and collect the eggs regularly. Providing appropriate perches will stop birds sleeping in and dirtying the nesting boxes. It is illegal to sell eggs that are cracked or covered in faeces.
  • It is preferable to not wash eggs. People can become infected with Salmonella and other diseases after eating foods that are directly or indirectly contaminated with animal faeces.
  • If you want to sell chicken meat you need to use a registered abattoir. For home consumption, there are humane slaughter guidelines available that include stunning the animal as best practice. The handling of animals for slaughter should not be rushed. Read the guidelines. 
  • If you have 100 or more poultry you need to apply for a property identification code (PIC).
  • Biosecurity management of your flock is important. Diseases are costly to production. Any new birds should be kept in quarantine away from your existing flock for three weeks and monitored for signs of ill health.
  • Two common diseases of chickens that are challenging to manage with biosecurity alone are Marek‚Äôs disease and Fowl Pox. Vaccination is an important part of their management. Vaccinating chickens for Mareks disease requires skill and good timing because the chicken needs to be vaccinated when it is one day-old. More about Marek's Disease.
  • Off-label use of veterinary chemicals is not allowed without a veterinary authority. You need to know and follow the required withholding period for each product administered to your birds.

Other resources

Biosecurity Checklist for Poultry Keeping (a simple guide from DPI Tasmania)

NSW DPI Guidelines for Poultry Biosecurity


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Small Farms Network Capital Region Inc
PO Box 313
Bungendore
NSW 2621

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