Larger scale meat birds?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by PotterWatch, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Virginia
    Well, it will probably still be small scale to some, but it's pretty large-scale to us! We have a friend who has 20 acres and is going to allow us to raise meaties on some of it. They will have constant access to pasture land (they will be in a tractor most likely), and we are hoping to use an organic feed. We are looking to, at some point, be processing about 50 per month. The number kind of depends on how much we feel we can take on and how much our market can support. We will be doing this as a share kind of deal where people sign up to have a share in our birds. We will do the raising and processing (they would be welcome to help with processing), but the birds will actually belong to the people who own shares. Anyone else doing anything like this? Any tips for us? Thanks!
     
  2. DenverBird

    DenverBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    West Denver Burbs
    Do you have a market and a business plan for the meaties?

    here's something telling from my brother who's starting a small organic farm in Ala:

    ...I'm seeing a pattern of people moving onto the farm and loading up on livestock and poultry that they don't yet have a market for and need very badly to sell. Also, I've seen an increasing number of adds on Craigslist where people are looking for someone to process their chickens because they can't bring themselves to do it...

    Good luck,

    -DB​
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  3. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    We do have a market of sorts but we hope it would get a little bigger as time goes on (not too big though!) Since we would be doing things as a share where people actually own the birds, we would know in advance how many we should be raising every month and only raise a minimal amount more just in case more people want in. Processing isn't an issue as I have always processed our birds. I will just need to line up help to get it done on a larger scale (that and build a whiz bang plucker). I agree that making sure we sell our birds will be the most crucial aspect. We will start building our customer base now so that when we actually get the birds in another month or two, they will hopefully already be sold. Thanks for the advice and I welcome any other tidbits that people could toss my way!
     
  4. hitnspit

    hitnspit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    New Haven, Vermont
    Be careful with state regs. I know here in vermont to keep it legal to sell meat I have to sell at live weight and take the birds to the owners home and slaughter them there. Unless you have a state aproved slaughtering house. But again that's here in vermont....jim
     
  5. 95yj

    95yj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Food laws are insane pretty much anywhere, I don't think you can even sell raw milk in MA anymore. Depending on the scale you can do it all under the table and try to keep the inspectors out of it, but that only works until you reach a certain size. selling people the live bird and processing it for free can also sometimes get around laws, as can selling "high quality dog food," which if your customers decide to eat it you really can't stop them... I know of people who are getting around the laws with turkeys by doing roughly the same thing you plan, making people buy shares, i'm not sure exactly how it works though.
     
  6. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    Thanks for the information. I know food laws can be very tricky. We get raw milk from a local farm, but it's through a share system and I actually go milk the cow myself. I'll definitely look into how we can legally do this.
     
  7. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    check out bruntys web site. he's a guy on here who is doing it, doing it right, and making a living at it. Brunty farms; I've learned a lot from him and consider myself a "follower" lol, no really, he's happy to share info and experiences.
     
  8. ForgePondFarm

    ForgePondFarm Out Of The Brooder

    I just stumbled on your thread. I was doing the same research this evening and happen to be from Massachusetts. You can find the state regulation at apppa.org/legalstates.pdf. You can find the federal regulation referenced at fsis.usda.gov/oppde/rdad/fsisnotices/poultry_slaughter_exemption_0406.pdf. My concern was selling small volume to friends, family, or even at the local farmers market. Both of these sources indicate that I can do that without license or inspection for a thousand birds a year. Good luck
     
  9. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    what a nice share from a newbie!
    welcome to BYC!!!! [​IMG]
     

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