Does anyone process and sell from the farm without getting harrassed by the government?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by DanIndiana, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. DanIndiana

    DanIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2010
    Valparaiso, Indiana
    Just wondering how that works in practice. Does is work out as simply as it seems, or does the government still try to dictate your 'sanitary' practices even though it's exempt. Can I really put a sign in the yard and sell meat just like eggs?
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    You have misunderstood. You are never exempt from sanitary practices.

    In some states you can sell up to 1,000 dressed birds without using a licensed processor. But that exemption carries with it conditions about the sanitation of the processing and it also gives the government the right to drop in at any time, unannounced, to inspect your processing facilities.

    Especially, if you aren't careful about sanitation and someone gets sick from eating your birds. The government is going to be all up in your face if that happens.
  3. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    Apr 18, 2010
    I don't advertize the small amount I sell other than word of mouth, and never have heard of any folks around here being investigated.

    I still keep brief records of where I buy the birds and who I sell them to and when. I use sanitary practices. If a gov't official wants to check that out, good for them. I'm not worried about it.
  4. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    It definitely depends on your state. We use the Producer/Grower 20,000 limit exemption defined in the USDA guidelines and our state doesn't impose any further restrictions on us. We haven't had any trouble at all and actually the local USDA rep we have met with has been very helpful. The most difficult thing we have run into has been trying to sell at farmer's markets because many of them want us to be licensed in some way, but of course, there is no license we can get.
  5. FarmTillURdead

    FarmTillURdead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2012
    Centerville, KS
    I was able to find out "understandable" laws but researching local farms close to me that were also selling poultry You can see if they have licenses, permits or like in Kansas... they just have to pick up the finished product on the farm... no store fronts are allowed.
    It will also help you get some ideas on what to charge, who your local competition is and how they operate. It's a really good sign if they are always sold out!
  6. Sundown_Farmer

    Sundown_Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Non-Chicago, Illinois
    I got an inspection and a license allowing me to operate as an un-inspected, unlicensed on-farm processing facility. We also get an annual surprise inspection. I can only process my own birds, must sell from the farm and I'm limited to 5,000 poultry/year. I can't sell in stores or farmers markets and I can't sell to restaurants.

    Now, all that silliness behind us, Illinois has been pretty encouraging. In fact, they encouraged us to become a commercial processor. That sounds like a lot of work but we are considering it.

    Missouri is even better. Though there are several levels, you can get an exemption to process up to 20,000 of your own birds and you can sell them to in-state stores and restaurants. Almost worth moving across the river.
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    In Massachusetts, I cannot sell meat processed at my farm UNLESS licensed. THis is to ensure that the meat has been handle properly and to reduce food-born illnesses among the customers. We have only 1 -2 places to send birds for processing that I have found; and a mobile processing facility. I can process my own for my own use only.

    ANy animals processed for food has the possibility of causing food born illnesses. Processing must ensure that this possibility is minimized. Some regulations are meant to protect public health.
  8. buffbrahmaboy

    buffbrahmaboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    A few years ago the British Columbia, Canada government passed some draconian laws which severely restricted small scale processing. This was likely due to influence from large scale, commercial processors since there is very little history here of problems with farm-gate sales. Note – these same processors refuse to do my birds unless I have a minimum of 1000. Because of this legislation, mobile processors virtually disappeared from the Province and the few remaining don’t return calls or e-mails because they’re so busy. The red tape I would be subject to in order to have the birds professionally processed on my property is mind boggling, so I built my own station and learned how to do it myself. (I do have a FoodSafe certificate)

    While I believe the Government in general has good intentions and is trying to protect people, going overboard has a tendency to backfire. I firmly believe in inspected facilities, but the Inspectors will never be allowed on my property because I’m afraid their true mandate is to shut me down in favor of Big Business. This isn’t a problem this year because my excess cockerels are in my own freezer for my immediate family.

    The solution for me totally defeats the tenor of the legislation. For my upcoming batch of chicks I will form a loose co-op and pre-sell the finished birds. Acquaintances are made word-of-mouth and we would all be owners. The bill of sale will include a mythical fee for me to raise the chickens for them. If all of us are somehow involved in the processing then it all seems above board, so when the other owners show up at my gate they will be required to help me bag their carcasses. The unfortunate part is they will have to trust my sanitary practices without any outside inspection. Kind of like how my Grandfather used to process animals for his neighbors. He must have been safe – he did it for decades.
  9. arthurpete

    arthurpete Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2011
    Anybody done research on Alabama regulations?

    Do we have an exemption?
  10. rarely bored

    rarely bored Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2011
    Central California

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