Significant changes are coming to Ontario’s rules regarding small-scale chicken production.

Until now, any individual could raise up to 300 birds per year under the Chicken Farmers of Ontario small flock program, a program with the intention of allowing families to raise a few chickens for themselves without requiring the purchase of production quota.

Fancy ChickenExpanding business opportunities in Ontario and a thriving local market, however, has prompted CFO to launch an ‘Artisanal Chicken’ program allowing those farmers interested in raising between 600 and 3,000 chickens annually (through a production license) for select target markets such as local farmer markets, says CFO.

Details on a new ‘Local Niche Markets’ program for farmers wishing to raise more than 6,000 birds will also be announced in coming months along with other program updates. These new CFO market opportunities will be supported by a portion of future production growth allocated to Ontario through the national supply management system, says CFO.

The existing cap of 300 birds has been renamed the ‘Family Food’ program in order to “better reflect the intention of the program,” says CFO.

“CFO is continually looking to meet the changing needs of Ontario chicken consumers and markets,” says Henry Zantingh, chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario. “This new program will help farmers fill local food and seasonal markets and will give Ontario consumers more choice and options in how and where they buy locally grown chicken.”

The full list of new, expanded and revised programs will be outlined on the CFO website at as they become available.


2 thoughts on “New Ontario Program Allows for More Quota-Free Chicken Production Under “Artisan” Banner

  1. So much for quota free chicken artisanal programmes. The first one , yes, no quota required, the second one, QUOTA HAS TO BE BOught to apply.

    So you want to grow for a niche market 6000 birds a year( that’s about 115 per week) so you want to apply for the new niche market programme, no quota involved??? think again. To apply you have to apply for 1000 units of quota first, otherwise they will not let your application go through. How much will this cost you? At the present rate $132,000 . The bank will only lend 60% so you have a fair portion to add to that. Over 10 years at approx 5/5% interest

    These are smaller free range people wanting to fill a niche market, where are they going to get $132,000 from, and anyway we all thought this was no quota involved. The Ontario quota board just FORGOT to tell us that there was quota involved. What’s new !!! the quota board is at it’s old tricks…beat down the little guys and let the big guys still make mega bucks.

    They simply refuse to let the smaller more innovative farmers get a different bird out there, unless they have some control over them.

    This archaic system has to go the consumer is paying way too much for poultry in the store for the same old industrial bird.

    Why are we protecting these big poultry growers……. let us make it an even playing field, NO QUOTAS , competition in business brings the cream to the top , no competition means you do not have to bother to be better.By the way they get a guaranteed profit margin as well !!!!

    Must be nice !!!

    1. @Barbara – No, we must not be nice. We have been nice for too long to these greedy thieves. It’s time to stand up for our rights. Who the hell do they think they are? What gives them the right to make us pay for the”privilege” to produce chickens? Can I then proclaim that they must by a license, from me, to breathe the free air? Privilege is the word that was used when I asked. The last time I checked I had, not only the right, but also the responsibility to provide for my family. How is it that we must jump through hoops to sell a few chickens, yet we bring in thousands and thousands of chickens up from the U.S. everyday for processing and sale here in Ontario. As long as there are people wanting to raise animals here we should not buy one single pound of anything from a foreign land. The CFO is right up there with the oil companies, the insurance companies, and the banks. Sinfully greedy, all of them. Well, they can shove it. I’ll do what I want.

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