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How do you sell chickens for meat?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

I am in the beginning phase of learning and contemplating raising chickens next year. I have already learned quite a bit from this forum and internet searches and from family who have raised in the past. I am at a loss however when it comes to selling. I know I can sell eggs fairly easily and that I can sell meat chickens to friends, family ect if done carefully. I realize in order to process chickens myself there are rules and regs and USDA to attend to as well as costs involved if not hushed. However, I can't seem to find anything related to selling chickens to a 3rd party for inspection/processing. I know if I were to raise other livestock such as cows that I could easily sell them off for X amount per pound. I even know several places I could go to do so and people to contact. My question is am I not able to do such a thing on a small scale? Do I need licensing, inspections, vets, ect? I live in Central Illinois, more specifically the Peoria area.

Thanks for any and all replies


Edited by burny2009 - 8/24/10 at 11:40pm
post #2 of 41

i would be interested to know this because plan to do the same next year

post #3 of 41

It really depends on where you are trying to go with your sales. also your state laws come before the usda rules. If you chose to go an industrial route say 20,000 birds + each and every carcass Must be packaged In a state approved and inspected facility. If you chose to cross state lines with Your production then that would fall under Processing plants that are USDA certified.
There is an exempt law if you only chose to do a set amount say no more then 1000 a year. This law also has rules. that info can be found here http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oppde/rdad/fsisnotices/poultry_slaughter_exemption_0406.pdf that allows you to process under exemption without being inspected to local consumers. The catch here is you cannot sell a dead carcass. Nor can you say kill 20 freeze them then go around selling them.
The way I deal with that law is I sell every bird live weight Meaning I set a Kill date then I take orders from my locals and customers. I tag each live bird with that customers name. and the night before kill date I weigh each carcass Live then I figure out what it would cost Dead weight. Typically $3.00-$4.00 per pound. lets just say its 4 dollars per pound then I sell a live weight carcass for 2 dollars a pound Since live weighs more then dead. On Kill morning I collect all the funds from my local customers. then that afternoon we process the Birds.
Customers can come by my farm to Pick up there finished product 3 days after Process day. (Unless they prefer to air out the bird themselves. Some like them frozen same day then they thaw them for 3-4 days in the fridge.) It is illegal to transport dead carcasses to and from customers and business's if you are only living under the 1000 bird exempt policy. If your USDA certified your required to have an upto date inspected freezer truck to transport and if your only state inspected (this means you can only sell within yor state) theres also modifications as well like the freezer truck.
I will tell you now It is harder to get state inspected then it is USDA inspected. USDA is more fluxuating with the rules then most state meat inspectors are. Hope this info helped at least some. heres a fw links that might help you on your search. http://www.cias.wisc.edu/crops-and-livestock/raising-poultry-on-pasture/ http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-2116/ANSI-8202web.pdf
http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-3099/AGEC-202web.pdf

post #4 of 41

raise them on your own property butcher and sell from your own property. stay under the 1000 limit of birds.  and post them on craigslist with the price per lb and your phone number. I normally post them before the butcher date, that way I got buyers. but we have no problem selling them.  well if their not cornish x they sell faster!

ETA ~ BTW we weigh and price them AFTER they are processed.  and dont collect money until the buyers come for them after butcher day!


Edited by raimnel - 8/26/10 at 7:51am

RAIMNEL= My wonderful husband "R", Me "A" (Amy), 5 kids (4 boys "I,M,N,E" & 1 girl "L"),
3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 goats, 4 Muscovy's, 4 Guineas and I STILL don't know how many chickens! lol 

PS my avatar shows our tattoo ON OUR HANDS! lol

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RAIMNEL= My wonderful husband "R", Me "A" (Amy), 5 kids (4 boys "I,M,N,E" & 1 girl "L"),
3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 goats, 4 Muscovy's, 4 Guineas and I STILL don't know how many chickens! lol 

PS my avatar shows our tattoo ON OUR HANDS! lol

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post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by raimnel 

raise them on your own property butcher and sell from your own property. stay under the 1000 limit of birds.  and post them on craigslist with the price per lb and your phone number. I normally post them before the butcher date, that way I got buyers. but we have no problem selling them.  well if their not cornish x they sell faster!

ETA ~ BTW we weigh and price them AFTER they are processed.  and dont collect money until the buyers come for them after butcher day!


and the first time usda and or the state finds out your gonna get shut down. Do Not listen to bad advice that can get you into trouble stay within the laws of your state and community. You cannot sell a dead carcass unless you are a usda or state inspected processing plant. Laws were made for a reason and the last thing you want is the state or federal Meat inspectors at your house harrassing you. Its not as simple as oh I only killed 1000 this year I am in the clear. there are rules and laws wrapped around the 1000 bird exemption.


Edited by MMPoultryFarms - 8/26/10 at 11:01am
post #6 of 41

Not true it depends upon your state laws. In KS a person can raise and sell up to 1,000 chickens or a combinations of chickens and other poultry. The turkey's count for more than one chicken. Without any state or federal inspection. It just depends on your state and how many liberals are running it. LOL:lol:lol I have spoken to our state inspectors and have recieved this clarification from them. Each state is different. But here you can according to the state.

KANSAS
The Law. The State Board of Agriculture does inspection of poultry in Kansas. The state exempts from inspection a producer who is slaughtering his own animals for use within his own household, for use by former members of his household, or for use by his nonpaying guests and employees. Custom slaughterers of birds for such producers are also exempt. Kansass law also states that custom slaughter at establishments immediately over the state border does not constitute interstate commerce such as to require regulation by the Board.16
The number of birds which may be slaughtered on-farm is limited by the following language found in Kansas statute 381.10:
Section c. The provisions of the Act and the regulations do not apply to any
poultry producer with respect to poultry, of his own raising on his own
farm, which he slaughters if:
1) Such producer slaughters no more than 1,000 poultry units* during the
calendar year for which this exemption is being determined;
2) Such poultry producer does not engage in buying and selling poultry
products other than those produced from poultry raised on this farm; and
3) None of such poultry moves in "Commerce: (as defined in 381.10).
* Poultry units shall be computed by using .25 units for each goose and
turkey, one unit for each chicken or other bird.
Agency Contact. Those desiring additional information concerning poultry inspection in the state of Kansas should contact:
Kansas Department of Agriculture
901 S. Kansas Ave.
Topeka, KS 66612-1280
785-296-3558
785-296-8389 (fax)
HACCP
Kansas Department of Agriculture
Meat & Poultry Inspection
901 S. Kansas Avenue 7th Floor
Topeka, KS 66612
785-296-3511
785-296-0673 (fax)
EDITORS NOTE: The poultry units definition given above says that one chicken is equal to four turkeys. This is opposite of the way poultry equivalents are most commonly expressed (usually four chickens are considered equal to one turkey). Most Kansas producers believe that this is simply a mistake in the wording of the law, but they have not made the effort to get it corrected. Most Kansas producers also believe the intent of this regulation is to allow up to 1,000 chickens to be processed (or up to 250 turkeys or geese).
1 KAN.


Edited by Bucky182 - 8/26/10 at 1:18pm
post #7 of 41

I sell my Nacked Necks and Rangers for $3.50 per lb.

I sell CX when I have them for $3 per lb.

I let the customers choose and I educate they on the bird difference.  Most of my customers lean towards the longer growing birds because of the flavor stand point even though they are 1.5 - 2 lbs less in weight per bird.

I process some on my own and some at my local processor.  And talking with the state inspector their they told me as long as I stop at 999 I will be ok but also have to keep detailed records of sales and where and what birds were processed where. 


I have been around 500 birds at my property and 200 at the processor for this year.


Edited by anthonyjames - 8/26/10 at 1:17pm
post #8 of 41

So in kansas you don't have to file for the exemption you just automatically are exempt? no laws no rules just as simple as that. Don't kill more then 1000 birds and your free and clear? with that question being asked is USDA not a federal program and doesnt any federal laws have to be applied or followed. If they werent How much bad food would we actually have in the world? In Oklahoma you have to file for exemption you have to document every kill bird and customer complete with there address. Your records must show and stand true.

post #9 of 41

I believe in Illinois, where the original poster is located, (Hi there, BTW, I am only a couple of hours from you!) that you can raise the birds yourself but to sell to the "public" you have to have them butchered and processed in a USDA facility. I don't think there is a number limit on it at all, so far as I have been able to find out if you sell so much as one it has to be butchered in an approved facility. I plan to sell some of my next year, there is a poultry processing plant in Arthur I am going to try out. I just did my own this year, because if you do less than 24 at the plant they charge a big fee, they wanted something like $40 to do six for me. ep If you do 24 or more, it is something like $2.30 a bird, and the more you do the less they charge.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

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"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

Reply
post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutechick2010 

I believe in Illinois, where the original poster is located, (Hi there, BTW, I am only a couple of hours from you!) that you can raise the birds yourself but to sell to the "public" you have to have them butchered and processed in a USDA facility. I don't think there is a number limit on it at all, so far as I have been able to find out if you sell so much as one it has to be butchered in an approved facility. I plan to sell some of my next year, there is a poultry processing plant in Arthur I am going to try out. I just did my own this year, because if you do less than 24 at the plant they charge a big fee, they wanted something like $40 to do six for me. ep If you do 24 or more, it is something like $2.30 a bird, and the more you do the less they charge.


Hey there Thanks for the info!!!!!....... I'll definitely be checking this out. This is specifically more of what I am looking for. Would you mind sharing the contact information of this facility? If you know of any other places to check with please feel free to share. Thanks Again. smile

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