Aaron Hiltz of Lake George, N.S., said there’s a big demand for the free-range eggs produced on his Annapolis Valley farm. But the 29-year-old said his attempts to satisfy that resulted in him being charged last year under the province’s Natural Products Act for owning too many hens.
In Nova Scotia, farmers are permitted 200 egg-laying hens without buying quota under the supply management system administered by the province’s marketing board, Nova Scotia Egg Producers.
Hiltz said he keeps between 700 and 800 hens on his farm without owning quota, and sells his eggs at farmers markets.
“When you’ve got happy customers wanting more and more product, and no one else is producing it and meeting the demand, it’s kind of like, why stop?” said Hiltz, who has pleaded not guilty and is due to stand trial in October. He faces a fine of up to $6,000 if convicted.