CFO's Specialty Breeds Chicken Program was developed to bring Ontario into alignment with the national Chicken Farmers of Canada specialty breeds policy. The new program specifies that two common breeds of specialty chicken will now be included under this program: Yellow chicken and Silkie chicken.

CFO worked closely with consumer groups (holding focus groups in both Mandarin and English) to develop a better understanding of the diverse demands and requirements of the multiethnic marketplace for ‘head and feet on’ chicken. The consumer insights that were generated during this process were used to create a relevant and impactful value proposition that spurred increased sales of the two Specialty Breeds chickens, Silkies and Yellow chickens.

Prior to launching this product CFO developed a marketing campaign to promote the product in specialty food stores. The resulting branding unifies the market and gives confidence to purchasers that the chicken is locally produced on Ontario family-farms and is consistently of high quality. CFO’s development team worked with retailers that market primarily to the Asian communities and distributors that work with this market to bring consistent branding and appeal to more than 60 targeted supermarkets in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and surrounding areas.

What are eligible specialty breeds of chicken?
  • This program is aligned with the national Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) Specialty Production Policy that identifies which specialty breeds are deemed "designated".
  • Silkies and Yellow chickens and a number of specialty chicken breeds grown in British Columbia (BC) are the current "designated" specialty chicken breeds that may be grown under this program.
Who is eligible to participate?

Participants must: 

  • Be a Canadian citizen and permanent resident of Ontario.
  • Be the beneficial owner of lands and buildings suitable for the production of specialty breeds of chicken.
  • If an approved applicant requires time to build such a facility, they have a period of 12 months from the date their application is approved to complete the construction and as an interim measure, may produce specialty chicken in a non-owned facility that meets CFO policy and regulations.
Applicants include: 
  • Persons who are interested in growing designated specialty breeds of chicken and interested in becoming a farmer-member of Chicken Farmers of Ontario.
  • Persons who are currently growing designated specialty breeds of chicken who are interested in becoming a farmer-member of Chicken Farmers of Ontario.
  • Existing farmer-members who are currently growing designated specialty breeds of chicken breeds or who are interested in growing these breeds of chicken.
What is the application process and deadlines?
  • Those interested in participating in the program are required to complete and submit an application digitally by clicking here.
  • The program has been designed to be an annual process. As the first year will be a transition, the application deadlines are:
    A-161 (Jan. 19 - Mar. 14, 2020)
    A-162 (Mar. 15 - May 9, 2020)
    September 24, 2019 September 13, 2019
    A-163 (May 10 - July 4, 2020)
    A-164 (July 5 - Aug. 29, 2020)
    January 29, 2020 January 20, 2020
    A-165 (Aug. 30 - Oct. 24, 2020)
    A-166 (Oct. 25 - Dec. 19, 2020)
    May 26, 2020 May 18, 2020
    A-167 (Dec. 20, 2020 - Feb. 13, 2021)
    A-168 (Feb. 14 - Apr. 10, 2021)
    Septemer 8, 2020 August 30, 2020
    A-169 (Apr. 11 - June 5, 2021)
    A-170 (Jun. 6 - July 31, 2021)
    January 13, 2021 January 4, 2021
  • An applicant is encouraged to apply to produce a minimum level of production of specialty breeds of chicken per quota period over the next year.
  • The minimum flock size has been established at 5000 birds of Yellow chickens or similar BC varieties and at 5000 Silkie birds.
Approved Applicant
  • The approved applicant will be granted a "Right" to grow and market specialty breeds of chicken.
  • The Right, known as Specialty Breeds Allotment (SBA), is specific only to the particular farmer-member to whom it is granted and is not trade-able, transferable, rentable and may not be pledged as security for indebtedness, and has no financial value attributed to it.
  • New farmer-members allotted SBA and when having complied with all CFO Policies and Regulation, will have the same rights and obligations as existing farmer-members who are allottees of basic quota. Compliance includes:
    • Pass barn inspection
    • Pass workplace safety inspection
    • Complete On-farm Food Safety Audit and all Mandatory Corrective Action Reports (CARs)
    • Complete Animal Care Program Audit and all Mandatory CARs
  • For this Right, the approved applicant will be required to:
    • Meet all CFO policies and regulations immediately, or within a year if required
    • Demonstrate that a specialty market is being met
    • Electronically transfer to CFO the "Sector Development Service Charge", initially in the amount of 5 cents per kilogram for each Specialty Breeds Allotment held, payable within 30 days to CFO after the producer has received payment for the chicken marketed
    • Maintain records to confirm compliance with the Program
    • Adhere to scheduled and random inspections or audits by an appointed inspector of the Board
    • Complete and submit electronically CFO's Form SBC and CFC's Commitment Form
Digital Business Services
  • CFO is endevouring to provide excellent customer service digitally in all aspects of the Specialty Breeds Chicken Program.
  • Approved participants are required to have the means to communicate digitally via email and to submit all forms once they are all made available on-line. CFO staff will be pleased to assist new farmer-members in the transition to digital business services.
Rights to Grow and Market
  • A Rights holder will be growing an approved amount of kilograms in the first year, and renewed annually, until the farmer-member exits the sector. Upon exit, the Rights are returned to CFO.
  • CFO will consider transferring the Rights upon the sale of the production facilities to the new owner.
  • An application for the Right to increase production is required annually. If the farmer-member elects to reduce their production in any quota period or annually moving forward, they must inform CFO 4 weeks in advance of the commencement of the quota period in question.
Suggested Minimum Live Price
Suggested pricing will be set per live kg:  
Specialty Breed Suggested Minimum Live Price per KG 
Yellow chicken $2.90 per kg
 Silkie $2.86 per kg
Fees and Levies
  • The number of Rights granted is subject to all CFO and CFC fees and levies.
  • At this time, the CFO producer licence fee is $0.0160/kg and the CFC levy is $0.0053/kg.
  • The Board has established a "Sector Development Service Charge" initially in the amount of 5 cents per kilogram for each SBA held, payable electronically within 30 days to CFO after the farmer-member has received payment for the chicken marketed.
  • For CFC, a "specialty chicken licence" is required and will be issued by CFC following the receipt of $100. This licence is valid for 5 years, similar to the Market Development licence.
Basic Quota Units and Rights
  • A farmer-member may hold both basic quota and Rights (Specialty Breeds Allotment), but only if they currently are allotted a minimum of 14,000 basic quota units.
  • Every Right must be grown first, and any chicken other than specialty breeds grown under a basic quota allotment will not be counted against the CFC Specialty Breeds Chicken Quota allocation.
  • Basic quota allotments and Rights production must remain segregated, as production may not occur in the same barn.

New specialty breeds chicken farmers will need to be able to demonstrate:

  • Sound business acumen and professional background
  • A successful track record
  • The ability to invest in a barn that can to grow at least 5,000 chickens per growing cycle
  • Proven relationship-building to work with CFO and value chain partners, such as retailers and distributors to grow the market
  • The ability to operate CFO's proven production and marketing systems