How To Get Into Chicken Farming

Raising broiler chickens for meat, and broiler breeder chickens for hatching (fertilized) eggs, is regulated by Manitoba Chicken Producers (MCP) as part of Canada’s supply managed farming system. A quota from Manitoba Chicken Producers is required. The minimum broiler quota is 30,000 kilograms per flock (usually 7 flocks each year), the minimum broiler breeder hatching egg quota is 7,000 hens per flock (1 flock per year) and the minimum Annual Speciality Quota is 10,000 kilograms per year.

These quotas are owned by Manitoba Chicken Producers.
If you are allocated a quota by MCP you are granted the right to raise that quota but you don’t own it.

Ways to get quota

1. Buy an existing broiler or hatching egg farm – Known as a complete farm sale, this happens when a broiler or hatching egg quota holder decides to retire from farming and sell the land, buildings, and equipment used for raising chickens or broiler breeders. Once an offer to purchase has been made, the buyer and seller must apply to MCP for approval to transfer the quota registration to the buyer. The application and approval process takes a minimum of 2 to 3 months and preliminary approval must be obtained from MCP before the buyer takes possession of the farm.

The buyer must commit to raise chickens or broiler breeders at that location for a minimum of 5 years. If you are interested in buying an existing broiler or broiler breeder farm, contact a farm real estate agent to see if there are any farms available.  The majority of broiler and broiler breeder farms are located in the south east corner of Manitoba.  Manitoba Chicken Producers does not keep a list of farms for sale.

2. Make a bid on the Quota Retirement Exchange – The Quota Retirement Exchange lets quota holders retire, or downsize, their farm without selling their land, buildings and equipment.  A quota holder can offer some or all of their quota on the Exchange.  The minimum amount of the quota the public can bid on is 30,000 kilograms for broilers, or 7000 hens for broiler breeders. Quota amounts below the minimums are not open for public bidding.

You do not need to own land or a suitable barn to submit a bid on the Exchange, but you must be prepared to purchase land in Manitoba, build or renovate a barn and buy the equipment required to raise chickens or broiler breeders. The cost of your bid does not include any costs associated with land, buildings and equipment. Successful bidders must commit to raising the quota for a minimum of 5 years.

Quota Exchanges are not scheduled – they only happen when MCP receives an offer.  If you are a Manitoba resident and would like to be notified about Exchanges that are open to the public, send an email with your name, email address and mailing address. The Notification List does not automatically renew – you will receive an email every January asking if you want to continue to be on the list.

Past broiler Quota Exchanges
Past broiler breeder hatching egg Quota Exchanges

3. Apply to the Annual Speciality Quota Program – The Annual Speciality Quota Program focuses on smaller or specialized markets that aren’t currently being supplied by registered chicken producers. The program covers specialty chicken breeds, unique weight categories, specialized production methods (eg certified organic, pasture raised), and chickens slaughtered in accordance with religious teachings.  Annual Speciality Quota is allocated for one calendar year at a time, and the quota allotments are for a minimum of 10,000 kilograms per year. Read more.