Chicken "share" program???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by booker81, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    1,929
    32
    183
    Apr 18, 2010
    Mid-MI
    I know there are some "big timers" here who do the whole licensing thing, but I've run into a situation at work, and I'm wonder if it's "legal". Most of me says yes, but I want input.

    I'm pretty open about my redneck, homemaking ways, and most of my coworkers think I'm nuts for hunting, fishing, raising chickens etc (I work in IT). However, many are pretty interested, but don't want to do it, just like to learn I guess.

    I raised and processed a batch of meaties this spring, made my blog, and have been approached by some coworkers asking if I would raise some chickens for them and process for them. I was planning on doing another small batch, but hey, chicks are cheaper the more you get, and I have the room for more. I don't mine processing more either.

    MI falls under USDA guidelines for chicken processing. I know that for sure.

    The "plan" is that the folks would pay me a flat rate up front (which I've calculated based on prices for chicks, feed, care, supplies, time etc), and I would purchase the chicks and feed. I would care for them, and I would process and bag them. Once all is done, they would pick them up. No price by weight, just an upfront cost to "buy" everything and I do the rest.

    I'm down with it (to a limit, thinking 25 to 50 or so). I probably buy some of those exemption stickers to put on the bags once processed. From what I understand in the USDA guidelines, I'm good? Thoughts?

    The folks who would be in on the "shares" I do trust to not sue me. I won't deal with anyone who's iffy on their standards. Most of them buy eggs from me anyways, and are thrilled with less than perfect but better than store bought. [​IMG]

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Chillin' With My Peeps

    624
    4
    121
    Apr 10, 2011
    MI
    i don't know. if they pay you for 10, they expect 10 birds, not here's 9, sorry one died.

    if you trust them not to sue you, then you should be able to trust them not to turn you in (if it were illegal)

    personally, i'd just sell them the finished birds, but collect a deposit to pay for the chicks (incase anyone backs out afterwards).

    i don't know what the rules and regulations. i've heard people are selling them at farmer's markets, though, and processing them themselves (not inspected)
     
  3. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    1,929
    32
    183
    Apr 18, 2010
    Mid-MI
    I wouldn't have a problem refunding money from my own pocket if some died - in all honesty I would go in and hedge my bets - make sure I could afford to raise every single one without outside funds - they'd just go in my freezer instead of someone else's ya know?

    I'm not really looking at it as a money making thing - I guess more of a helping people out who want fresh, non-store chicken, but don't have the place or the will to do it themselves [​IMG] It's amazing - the movement of folks who finally are starting to understand how "making meat" works, and are actively trying to better the lives of the animals they are consuming. I get more "tell me more" questions from folks now than "eww that's gross! You're horrible!". I like it [​IMG]
     
  4. dragontamer56

    dragontamer56 Out Of The Brooder

    96
    0
    39
    Apr 13, 2011
    What i would do is sell them the bird live right when they should be processed and "help" them process them as a friend.
     
  5. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,305
    18
    221
    Apr 29, 2007
    Ohio
    Quote:I think the smaller you are the easier it is to manage birds and charge by the bird. However I gave up on by the bird this year and started charging by the pound. For me it came down to feed cost and every penny counted. However if you're doing just 50 or so at a time, I wouldn't worry much and just charge a flat rate. For example, a whole fryer at $2.50 / pound would be $10.00 for a four pound fryer. Shoot for 3.5 - 4 pounds and try to hit the lower end of that. 3.5 pounds would put you more like $3.00 / pound. If you are exempt federally you can raise 20,000 chickens without being inspected. Most places have the 1,000 limit, which is horrible for any small poultry producer. I wouldn't worry much about the regulations as you are exempt. Good luck...
     
  6. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    1,929
    32
    183
    Apr 18, 2010
    Mid-MI
    I was hoping you might chime in Brunty [​IMG]

    Of the top level of 50, at least a dozen will be mine. I'm asking the $10/bird, and if I go based on the last batch I did, I should hit 3-4lbs in 6-7 weeks, which would keep my feed costs in range.

    I'm kind of excited - even with how weird the CX can be, they were fun to raise, and by the time they were annoying, it was processing time. I don't plan on ever doing more than 50 a batch, so wouldn't be close to the 1000 or more chickens. Ugh...the thought of that much poo...
     
  7. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    5,470
    26
    288
    Apr 22, 2008
    Virginia
    As Brunty said, if your state follows only USDA guidelines and doesn't add any rules to follow, you are fine. You can fall under one of two exemptions, the only thing really different between the two is the number you can sell. One has a cap of 1,000 birds and the other a cap of 20,000. This is the exemption information for under 1,000:

    A person may slaughter and process on his or her premises poultry that he or she raised and they may distribute such poultry without mandatory inspection when the following five criteria are met.
    Criteria:

    1. The poultry grower slaughters no more that 1,000 healthy birds of his or her own raising in a calendar year for distribution as human food;

    2. The poultry grower does not engage in buying or selling poultry products other than those produced from poultry raised on his or her own farm;

    3. The slaughter and processing are conducted under sanitary standards, practices, and procedures that produce poultry products that are sound, clean, and fit for human food (not adulterated);

    4. The producer keeps records necessary for the effective enforcement
    of the Act; and

    5. The poultry products do not move in commerce.

    Note: Commerce means the exchange or transportation of poultry products between States, U.S. territories (Guam, Virgin Island of the United States, and American Samoa), and the District of Columbia.




    I agree that if you are only going to do 50, just sell them by the bird. We sell ours by the pound but it is more work of course to weigh and label each bird. Our labels have the exemption number we fall under, the county where our farm is, and the normal safe handling instructions. Those things are required by law to be on the label if you are selling.
     
  8. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    1,929
    32
    183
    Apr 18, 2010
    Mid-MI
    Thanks! You were another person I was hoping would chime in [​IMG]

    Do you make your own labels or order them? The 1000 bird exemption doesn't say much about labeling, but I'm going to be better safe that sorry, and make sure to keep some good records of this and label appropriately. The one person who wants some is pretty eager - they've already paid in full and I haven't even ordered the chicks yet (I told them this).

    I'm pretty excited about it, mostly because it's sharing good food with others. Nothing store bought beats these homegrown guys...I still am stunned when I pull one out to roast, and my husband can't even eat 1/4 of it because there is so much more MEAT compared to the same weight store bought (and he can polish off - alone - one of those 3lb rotisserie chickens at the store).
     
  9. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    5,470
    26
    288
    Apr 22, 2008
    Virginia
    We have a friend who owns a print shop so he prints our labels for us and my husband goes to the shop to trim and punch a hole in them. We buy the paper for him to print on though. We use a certain type of paper that can get fully wet and not fall apart and ink that doesn't smear when wet. We needed that feature in our labels since we deliver our birds to customers in ice chests full of ice so the labels get very wet. I posted pictures of our label somewhere in this section before but let me know if you want me to post it here so you can see the info we put on them.

    Good luck!
     
  10. fair weather chicken

    fair weather chicken Out Of The Brooder

    49
    0
    21
    Apr 9, 2011
    we sell as a csa and give 18 birds in three batches. we make sure that our customers know we are selling them live birds, but since we like them we process them when we do ours. also potter we would like to see your label.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by