Apply for this licence

Start now on the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development website


You need to register hen houses which contain 350 or more laying hens in Northern Ireland.

How to apply

Download an application form from the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) website. Post your application to the address on the form.

You must complete a separate form for each hen house you own.

You need to provide details on the type of egg production system you use, eg:

  • organic
  • free range
  • barn
  • cage

You need to provide details of your accreditation if you’re producing organic eggs.

You need to apply separately for a house code if you wish to stamp eggs with a code unique to each hen house.

If you keep breeding hens, or fewer than 350 laying hens, and wish to market your eggs as Class A, or as ungraded at a local market, it is still compulsory to stamp them with a distinguishing number. In these circumstances you should apply separately for egg marketing registration.


You will be placed on a register and allocated a number indicating farming method, Member State code and a unique identifier. This number is used to trace eggs sold for human consumption.

You must write to DARD to update your registration information within 28 days of any relevant change to your business.

Fines and penalties

You may be imprisoned for up to 3 months and/or fined up to £2,500 if you fail to register with DARD or follow conditions.

*[DARD] Department for Agriculture and Rural Development