Birds, Birds, and Quota Birds

by Kaya Konopnicki

At Greens Eggs and Ham our customers always wonder why we don’t have a particular (their favourite, I might add :)) bird part in stock.  Why are we CONSTANTLY sold out of some products and why can’t we just raise more?


It comes down to the quota system that regulates Alberta’s poultry production. More simply our Cornish Game Hens and Turkeys operate under a quota system.  The Guinea Fowl, Goose and Ducks are outside that system.

We can have 2000 Cornish Game Hens (which are considered ‘Chickens’) and 300 Turkeys.

We can (and do) raise Ducks in much larger numbers because of the huge demand for them.  Our Geese and Guinea Fowl are smaller markets (for now) so we tend to raise just one flock of them.

Why don’t we just get a quota for our farm?  Because we want to pasture raise them.  As soon as we get a quota, we are forced to put our birds in cages.   Those cages can be on a pasture but then we need to drag the cage around with a tractor so the birds end up breathing in the tractor fumes and pecking at the dirt where the tractor tires have driven all of which ends up in them – and ultimately in you.

That’s why we stay under the quota and that’s why we have a limited supply of some products. With our second farm we now have the ability to raise more – but we also need the infrastructure to handle that.  Our slow money investors have helped us build and renovate our farm to handle greater demand and install drip irrigation to grow more efficiently.  If you want to see more of the products you love in our farm you can become an investor today too.  We have plans that start as low as $1000.  Contact Mary Ellen for more information.  We are also looking into some crowdfunding options so stay tuned for that!

Okay – so now that we’ve explained WHY there are sometimes little gaps on our shelves and HOW you can help, here’s WHEN you can expect some of those delicious birds to land in our stores.  The handy graphic below shows it all.

We’re especially excited to announce a wider range of Duck Charcuterie that will be in store late June / early July.  This year we have 700 ducks dedicated to just that product line so expect some delicious smoked and cured duck meats for the summer.




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