Opening a Poultry Farm

Starting a chicken farm business involves writing a detailed business plan, applying for financing, collecting eggs, setting up facilities, and raising and feeding chicks.

Laws and Regulations

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is tasked with monitoring fraudulent labelling, inspecting for foreign diseases and pests, and inspecting poultry processing plants and facilities. The Agency is also responsible for the monitoring of fertilizers, feeds, and seeds.


As a first step, you may want to do research and make a list of the equipment required to start a chicken farm business. Examples of poultry farming equipment include things like egg baskets, chicken crates, egg candlers, and egg washers and graders. You will also need incubators, poultry feeders, water regulators, manual or nipple drinkers, and circular and linear feeders. Automatic feeders are also available. When it comes to heating equipment, you can choose from different types, including infrared bulbs, gas brooders, kerosene or charcoal stoves, and hovers.

Write a Business Plan

This is an important step to obtain financing for your egg and poultry business. Make sure you include a section on the profits you expect to generate, your target market, equipment required, your operational strategy and operational requirements, and more. Describe your target market and potential customers, for example, agricultural merchants, fast food chains and restaurants, stores, hotels and chains, individual customers, and households. You may want to discuss your marketing strategy and channels as well, including referrals or mouth marketing, online marketing, business fairs, seminars, and expos, and yellow page ads. Other options include food related newspapers and magazines and brochures to hand over to merchants, stores, restaurant and hotel owners, and individual customers.


The next step is to apply for financing, whether in the form of a subsidy, grant, government-backed financing, or loan from a credit union, bank, or finance company – for more options click here. One option is to apply for financing under the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act program. Loans range from $350,000 to $500,000, depending on the purpose. This can be refinancing, consolidation, construction of buildings or facilities, improvements, the purchase of land, etc.  The money can be used to purchase machines, apparatus, implements, and tools. Other ways to use financing include driveway and road construction, irrigating and clearing of land, overhaul or repair of fencing, and purchase of livestock. Eligible applicants include agricultural co-ops, part-time farmers, start-up and beginning farmers, and existing farmers. Farmers can be cooperative associations, corporations, partnerships, or individual farmers. Another option is to apply for a start-up loan with your local bank or union or a big bank such as Scotiabank, CIBC, or Toronto-Dominion. Big banks such as BMO, for example, offer commercial mortgages and business loans as well as agricultural, mortgage-secured lines of credit, operating lines of credit, and installment loans – for more options click here. A business credit card is yet another option to cover additional expenses such as the purchase of coops, cages, laying nests, and so on. It is best to choose a credit card with a longer grace period, big credit limit – for more options click here. Businesses can try fixed-rate term loans and small business installment loans. When choosing a loan, factors to consider include the interest rate and repayment schedule, whether your employees, business partners, or related parties would need access to credit, and others.

The Canadian Hatching Egg Industry

The hatching egg industry in Canada is well-developed and organized and serves foreign markets across the world, with exports to Turkey, France, Russia, the United States, and other countries.

History and Recent Developments

Editor of Poultryman Fred Benson was the first to raise the question of a supply management system in 1948. The reason behind this was to make the egg industry more competitive after Britain decided to cut back on exports. British Columbia was the first province to develop and adopt a comprehensive strategy to support egg producers in the province. The strategy was adopted in an attempt to reverse a trend of plummeting chicken prices. It was in 1961 when the Broiler Marketing Board was established in British Columbia. Quebec and Ontario followed suit shortly after (1965) and established their own marketing boards. The main goal was to boost the competitiveness and bargaining power of farmers in the sector. However, cheaper products were continuously imported from the United States and produced in other provinces. Fred Benson was the one to convince broiler producers to discuss the establishment of a national broiler council. In 1965, the National Broiler Council was established in Toronto. 

Facts and Figures

Today there are 16 laying egg hatcheries, 11 turkey hatcheries, and 40 broiler hatcheries across Canada’s territories and provinces. The hatching egg production for 2016 amounts to a little more than 735 million eggs. Different species are raised to produce eggs of high quality for the domestic market and for export. The United States is the largest export partner of Canada while Canadian businesses also import eggs from the U.S. A total of some 132 million broiler hatching eggs were imported from the U.S., worth close to $33 million.

National and Regional Organizations and Agencies

The Canadian Hatching Eggs Producers is a national agency with members from Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. In 1985, CHEP was established under an agreement between the egg farmers and the provincial and federal authorities. It was founded under the Farm Products Agency Acts and is currently based in Ottawa.

The agency represents the interests of a total of 230 farmers and egg producers across Canada. The goal is to ensure that the industry is competitive and strong to secure a constant supply of eggs to the domestic market and for export. The CHEP works in cooperation with partners in different sectors, including dairy, egg, turkey, and chicken sectors. This is done to ensure proper supply management and to meet demand. The supply management system in Canada combines several key components, including price, import, and quota controls to ensure constant and dependable supply of superb quality products. The industry itself serves consumers, restaurants, hotels, chains, and the food service industry in general.


Each province is responsible for setting inter-provincial quotes that specify the quantity of hatching eggs to be produced and delivered. Quotas are specified by the Commodity Board in each province. Quota exemptions vary from one province to another.