Fresh Ideas, Growing Together

Welcome to Chicken Farmers of Ontario

Congratulations on becoming a licensed farmer with the Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO).

CFO is here to help you grow the safe, fresh, high-quality chickens that Ontario consumers have come to expect.
CFO provides responsible, accountable supply management leadership to a growing chicken industry in Ontario. The province is home to the largest chicken industry value chain in the country (which includes feed mills, chicken farmers, and chicken processors) and supports the largest and most diverse consumer base in Canada.
In an effort to meet evolving consumer and farmer needs, CFO offers new programs for farmers with smaller flocks. CFO's Artisanal Chicken program is designed for those wishing to grow 600 to 3,000 chickens annually for select target markets such as restaurants or local farmers markets. The Local Niche Markets program is quota based and provides those who want to grow 6,000 to 60,000 chickens per year a way to get into markets that are looking for larger volumes.
Regardless of how many birds you raise, all licensed chicken farmers must adhere to three main programs:
  • The On-Farm Food Safety Program (OFFSP) emphasizes poultry health, safety and biosecurity through each step of the growth cycle and helps farmers deal with or prevent food safety hazards and disease. It is based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), an internationally recognized approach to food safety as well as a national biosecurity standard set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  
  • The Animal Care Program (ACP) outlines how the chickens are to be treated and handled, including litter management, feed and water quality, environmental control (temperature, air quality, lighting), growing density, bird monitoring and handling, health care practices, and staff training around bird behavior (i.e. disease and environmental monitoring).
  • The Farm Worker Safety Program focuses on the people, ensuring the safety of farmers, their employees and other industry partners working on-farm. 
CFO has also recognized that meeting different market needs means growing chickens in different ways - whether it is in barns or free-range, which is why there are accommodations in the programs for these growing methods.
CFO is pleased to welcome entrepreneurial people like Artisanal Chicken program farmers, and your success is very important. Knowing and using the best management practices available to keep your flock healthy and your business thriving is very important. That is the purpose of this orientation guide. It will help you through the initial stages of becoming a licensed chicken farmer under the Chicken Farmers of Ontario Artisanal Chicken program.
This guide will give you an overview of the ACP and OFFSP programs. There is more detailed information, tools and checklists available at, and each section has links to the appropriate section in the grower manuals.

CLICK HERE to access the Orientation Guide for Ontario Chicken Farmers