There has been a severe shortage since a processor dropped out because the company had more profitable alternatives.
The birds for this market are about 1.7 kilograms compared with 2.2 kilograms for the light-weight mainstream markets.
It may also require special processing equipment, the chicken board says.
The board announced this week “the development of the Small Whole Bird Supply Program” as a follow-up to another announcement earlier this month that it has “designated the ‘value added’ and ‘ethno-cultural’ market sectors as strategic growth opportunities.”
“Chicken Farmers of Ontario continues to address consumer needs and meet opportunities in the growing and evolving Ontario marketplace,” said Ed Benjamins, chairman of Chicken Farmers of Ontario.
“We have worked collaboratively with industry stakeholders to provide a supply-managed solution and mechanisms required to support this specific consumer market."
It has, however, taken several months since there were complaints that a number of family-owned barbecue chicken businesses in the Toronto area were in dire straits.