POSSIBILITIES:  LIVESTOCK

Livestock in New Brunswick

If you are interested in having livestock on your farm, or are interested in purchasing a livestock operation, it is important that you fully understand the Livestock Operations Act and its potential impact on how you can set up your operation. The Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries staff can help you learn about this.  It is important to know that the act applies to most agricultural livestock, including mink, chickens and turkeys. Horses, llama, alpacas, ducks and geese are excluded. Further information on the LOA is at http://laws.gnb.ca/en/showfulldoc/cs/L-11.01//20140916.

 

Meat sold in New Brunswick must be slaughtered, cut and wrapped at either a provincially inspected abattoir or a federally inspected abattoir. Meat produced in New Brunswick, but sold outside the province, must be slaughtered, cut and wrapped at a federally registered abattoir. There are about 30 provincially inspected abattoirs throughout New Brunswick and two federally inspected poultry abattoirs in the northwestern corner of the province.

 

 

Dairy

 

What do you need to produce cow’s milk in New Brunswick?

  • A licence from the New Brunswick Farm Products Commission to produce and sell cow’s milk.

  • Dairy cattle and young replacement stock.

  • Quota sufficient to match daily production expectations (87 kg of butter fat/farm [2016] is the provincial average). A minimum of 10 kg is required to ship milk as a licensed producer. This quota is purchased through the Dairy Farmers of New Brunswick (DFNB), which may not always have quota available.

  • Adherence to the milk quality regulations.

  • An all-weather barn of sufficient size to house all the cattle.

  • Land for spreading manure, pasturing and producing grain and forage (unless grain and forage will be exclusively purchased).

  • Access to storage structures and equipment for producing and storing sufficient grain and forage to meet the cattle’s nutritional requirements throughout the year.

  • A manure storage area with sufficient capacity for at least seven months and which meets New Brunswick environmental regulations preventing surface water and ground water contamination.

  • Approved milking equipment, including a bulk storage tank.

There are about 200 dairy farms in the province with milking herds ranging in size from 15 to 420 head, plus about the same number of young stock. Dairy farming is one of the more stable farm commodities in New Brunswick due to the supply management system. However, it can be difficult for new farmers to enter the industry because of the cost to purchase quota, currently (2016) capped at $24,000 per kg. The infrastructure and equipment investment costs are also higher for dairy farmers than for other types of less intensive farms. DFNB has developed a New Entrant Program to help two successful applicants each year with a quota loan. The details of this program are available from DFNB.

Farmers can process their own milk into cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products; however, this requires a separate dairy plant, which must be licensed and meet provincial regulations and food safety standards under the Public Health Act. Should fluid milk be processed, an additional milk dealers licence must be obtained from the New Brunswick Farm Products Commission.

Dairy cattle can be kept to produce milk or other dairy products for personal consumption without the need for a quota. Raw milk and other raw milk dairy products cannot be sold or given away. Raw milk cheese may be sold if it is from a provincially licensed plant and meets Department of Health regulations.

Poultry

 

What do you need to be a poultry producer in New Brunswick?

The poultry industry is highly regulated and prospective poultry producers should contact the appropriate commodity association for a complete list of regulations.

Eggs

What do you need to be an egg producer in New Brunswick?

 

  • For conventional layer chickens, a quota and a licence are required from the Egg Farmers of New Brunswick.

  • No licence is required to keep 199 birds or fewer at any time. You can produce eggs for your personal consumption or to sell eggs directly to consumers. However, if the eggs are sold anywhere but directly to the consumer, which includes farm market sales at the farm, they must be inspected at a federally inspected and registered egg-grading station. “Cracks”or”cracked eggs” cannot be sold directly to the public from the farm gate. When selling eggs direct to the consumer egg cartons that have grade labels cannot be reused.

  • For conventional poultry, an all-weather, bio-secure barn.

  • For free-range poultry, a coop that provides protection from the elements and protection from predators is advised.

  • A source of feed and water.

  • A source of chicks or pullets.

  • An identified egg grading station and or identified markets.

All quota is held by the commercial egg producers located throughout the province, with an average of 30,000 layers per farm. Egg quota may be obtained through a private arrangement with a current quota holder, subject to approval by the Egg Farmers of New Brunswick or through a provincial quota exchange when a producer decides to sell his or her quota.

 

Occasionally, small amounts of quota have been granted to new entrants through a lottery type of selection.

Broilers

What do you need to be a chicken producer in New Brunswick?

 

  • For conventional broiler production, a quota and a licence are required from the Chicken Farmers of New Brunswick.

  • No licence is required to raise 200 meat birds or fewer per year.

  • For conventional poultry, an all-weather, bio-secure barn.

  • For free-range poultry, a coop that provides protection from the elements and protection from predators is advised.

  • A source of feed and water.

  • A source of chicks or pullets.

  • An identified processor or identified markets.

 

Broiler quota may be obtained through a private arrangement with a quota holder, subject to approval by the Chicken Farmers of New Brunswick or through a provincial quota exchange when a producer decides to sell his or her quota. Occasionally, small amounts of quota have been granted to new entrants through a lottery type of selection.

​​​Turkey

What do you need to be a turkey producer in New Brunswick?

 

  • For conventional turkey production, a quota and a licence are required from the Turkey Farmers of New Brunswick.

  • No licence is required to raise 25 or fewer turkeys per year.

  • For conventional poultry, an all-weather, bio-secure barn.

  • For free-range poultry, a coop that provides protection from the elements and protection from predators is advised.

  • A source of feed and water.

  • A source of poults.

  • An identified processor or identified markets.

 

Turkey quota may be obtained through a private arrangement with a quota holder, subject to approval by the Turkey Farmers of New Brunswick or through a provincial quota exchange when a producer decides to sell his or her quota. Occasionally, small amounts of quota have been granted to new entrants through a lottery type of selection.

Other poultry

 

There are no regulations or quota requirements governing the production of other types of poultry, such as ducks, geese and quail. In the case where these other poultry are raised for meat and for sale to the public, they must be killed and dressed at an inspected abattoir.

Hatchery

 

There are two commercial hatchery operators in New Brunswick. They supply egg producers and broiler producers. There is no quota required for hatcheries.

Beef

What do you need to produce beef in New Brunswick?

 

  • About one acre of pasture per cow.

  • Fencing to keep animals contained.

  • A way of storing forage for the winter.

  • A barn or shed to provide rudimentary shelter for the animals during inclement weather.

  • Enough clean water for the animals’ size and life stage, and the season (larger cattle require more water than smaller ones, lactating cows require more water than non-lactating cows, and all cattle require more water in hot weather than cold weather).

  • A market for calves, finished cattle or beef. 

 

The price of finished beef cattle fluctuates on a regular basis. A number of producers have carved out niche markets, selling directly to restaurants and consumers. The beef industry is not heavily regulated, and the initial investment costs are relatively low in terms of infrastructure and equipment, especially if you are able to hire a custom machine operator to make your hay or silage for winter feed. (For more information on the beef industry, contact the New Brunswick Cattle Producers

Swine

What do you need to be a swine farmer in New Brunswick?

 

  • Pigs – your own breeding stock or a source of weaned piglets.

  • An all-weather barn large enough for the number of pigs you have.

  • A source of feed and water.

  • A land base large enough to dispose of the manure produced by the pigs in an environmentally responsible manner that complies with New Brunswick’s environmental regulations.

 

Swine producers have access to several market opportunities for their hogs, and should contact Porc NB Pork to discuss their options. Canada’s swine industry faced extreme difficulties and a significant decline in the number of producers during the past few years. A number of swine farmers have developed niche markets for their meat products, including sausage and bacon. Pork products must be processed in a licensed facility that meets provincial food safety regulations.

 

Most pigs are shipped as weaners, with only a few farrow to finishing operations still operating in the province.

 

Sheep

What do you need to be a sheep farmer in New Brunswick?

 

  • Sheep – a breed specific for the production purpose.

  • About one-fifth of an acre of pasture per mature animal.

  • A way of storing forage and feed for the winter (one-half ton of hay and 120 pounds of grain per ewe).

  • A barn or shed to provide rudimentary shelter for the animals during inclement weather (a draft-free barn is needed for winter lambing).

  • A means of providing the sheep with around eight litres of clean drinking water per sheep per day.

  • Fences to keep the sheep from roaming.

  • Protection from predators; different livestock have been used for predator control including guard dogs, llama and donkeys.

  • A market for lambs, mutton or breeding stock (rams and ewes) and a market for wool.

  • If sheep’s milk is processed into cheese or other dairy products, you must obtain a licence from the Department of Health. For details, contact your local agri-food inspector at the Department of Health.

  • Adherence to the milk quality regulations. 

 

The sheep industry has experienced significant growth in recent years as consumers rediscover a taste for lamb. Immigrants to New Brunswick have also begun to seek out lamb and mutton. New Brunswick has favourable conditions for raising sheep, and the required investment in infrastructure and equipment is relatively low. Many sheep farmers sell lamb to slaughter plants in Nova Scotia or directly to consumers at one of the province’s many farmers’ markets.

 

Sheep farmers have the option of shearing their sheep or hiring a sheep shearer. New Brunswick is fortunate to have a woolen mill in the Harvey Station area that buys local wool from producers.

Goat

What do you need to be a goat farmer in New Brunswick?

 

  • Goats – a breed specific for the production purpose.

  • About one-fifth of an acre of pasture per mature goat. 

  • A way of storing forage for the winter.

  • Fencing to keep animals from roaming.

  • A barn or shed to provide shelter for the animals during inclement weather.

  • A means of providing the goats with around eight litres of clean drinking water per goat per day.

  • Predator control if goats are left outside in the summer to graze.

  • A market for goat meat, goat milk and other dairy products and/or goat fibre.

  • If goats milk is processed into cheese you must pass a Department of Health inspection, then obtain a license from the Farm Products Commission.

  • Adherence to the milk quality regulations.

 

Goats are enjoyable animals, easy to handle and transport, and relatively inexpensive to purchase, feed and house. There are only one or two goat operations that could be considered as commercial operations in the province. Goat’s milk is not supply-managed, so it is less costly to start a commercial goat dairy farm than a cow dairy farm. Dairy goat production, especially pasture-based production, offers the opportunity for sustainable diversity on a small farm (Coffey et al., 2004).

2-150 allée Woodside Lane, Fredericton NB E3C 2R9

Ph./Tél.: 506-452-8101
Fax/Télecop.: 506-452-1085

  • Black Google Places Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon