Long winded post about keeping meat birds. I'm a newbie PICS UPDATED

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by r4eboxer, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

    Sep 20, 2011
    I have NEVER processed any poultry, but I have land and perfect areas to raise Geese, Ducks, Turkeys and Chickens for meat. I have seen that a Christmas Goose that weighs 10-13 lbs is going for as much as 200.00 per bird at an online site. I have geese that can hatch out the goslings, have turkeys on the way, and have ducks that can hatch out ducklings etc already.

    I am wondering what the food safety laws are that govern the sale of farm poultry. I have 20 plus years of food safety/restaurant management experience but no butcher experience. Do I need to have a large walk in fridge/freezer? I am going to assume it varies state by state but I'd like some info from those of you who have BTDT.

    I am following some of the threads here about brining chickens to market weight but I'm wondering if anyone here does it with geese and/or turkeys. I've got some pics of areas around the property that I am hoping are suitable for geese and ducks.

    I am planning on purchasing an automatic plucker, I am leaning toward the old fashioned chopping block method for culling.

    I don’t know if I can do this, or if I have the time but I definitely want to at least fill my families needs with my own home grown food.

    Here are photos where I hope to put my meat geese. I plan to run a fence around the wooded area, the area where you can see my dogs and the creek down below where the beach area is for the geese. I am hoping there will be enough grass for them to free range as I want to market them as grass fed/ free range. What do you all think about this area? Is it sufficient?

    [​IMG]This is the area I hope to keep the turkeys in. It is to the left of where the geese will be. No water.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    It looks very nice.

    If that is a stream, I wonder if your ducks will float away, exploring. Also, you will need to protect the birds from your local predators.

    Laws about selling home raised and home butchered poultry vary by state, so you will have to look that up.
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    I'm simply jealous of your property and your future guard dogs there! Oh some day, to have more than a half acre...

    RAREROO Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 22, 2009
    Alapaha, Ga
    No, you should abandon that area immediately ........... and sign it over to me.

    Lol. It looks great just make sure your birds don't float off. I haven't looked into the laws of selling meat in my area yet, but a while back I asked about selling butchered quail and someone mentioned selling them as "animal food" and if someone decides to eat a perfectly good bird that you sold to them to "feed to their animals", then that's their own business and wouldn't need to be regulated since you're "not selling for human consumption".

    I'm not sure how well that would go though but that's one responce I got.
  5. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

    Sep 20, 2011
    Thanks everyone for the responses. I am planning on fencing the creek off at a point. The creek is entirely on our property (well not the entire creek but a very large area) so I can put a fence around a small part of the creek to keep my birds from floating away. So I've got that part covered. I am going to fence the entire area (land and water) with 1/4 inch fabric wire and put one of my Pyr's out there.

    I am re-thinking offering them to the public though. I don't think it would be worth it if someone got sick and decided they wanted my homestead [​IMG] So for now I think I am going to only raise enough for meat for my family and my dogs.

    I have 16 turkey Poults ordered already but I will keep some for breeding and send the rest to freezer camp for us. I think in the future I may look into getting a walk-in freezer/fridge set up and doing it up right with USDA certification; I've already passed those exams with being in the food industry before so I know I have the food safety knowledge for it. Right now I have to work outside the home full time.

    Who knows maybe I will start a raw dog food company, people take better care of their pets health now days than they do their own. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the comments about the property; we really love where we live. Can’t wait to get all my animals on it and then just reap the benefits of growing all our own food.
    eta: I am a little concerned over the wooded part of the area, Hopefully my pyrs can keep predators at bay. They need to grow up quick!!
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  6. Darin115

    Darin115 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2008
    Asheboro, NC
    Looks like an awesome property. But, does that creek flood when it rains hard or for long periods of time? Just from the pictures it looks like the field is beside the creek and prone to flooding. Just a thought. I would hate for your ducks or chickens to wash away.

    I built a bridge over a creek similar to yours. 2 months later the creek got up and washed my pretty new bridge down the creek.
    Also a neighbor built a cement bridge over a larger creek. After a few years the flooding washed the banks away from the bridge and it is a continous project to keep the bridge usable. I would hate to spend a bunch of time and money fixing chicken and duck pens only to have a flood wash it all away.

  7. r4eboxer

    r4eboxer Crooked Creek Poultry

    Sep 20, 2011
    Quote:That is a good point Darin, the creek does get high when there is a lot of rain but it has never come up to the wooded area or way into the pasture. I don't think the geese will venture into it when it is running high and fast, currently my geese have a pond at the upper end of the property but mainly stay in the grassy areas. They would rather hang out in the pasture and only use the pond for bathing and sleeping on. I think I'd better do some research to be sure about that. Thanks for pointing that out. I'd hate to cause them stress, this area is for my freezer Geese only and the breeders will be kept at the pond/pasture area.

    This is the pond area that is about 6 acres north of the creek, I don't want too many geese in this area due to pooper scooping duty but my breeders are housed here.

    ETA: you can see the knoll way at the top of the photo, this is the area I am thinking about putting the meat birds in, Geese only, I have another area for my meat ducks. HMMM this may not be a good place after all. Do you think they will stay away from high swift water. They will have to go down an embankment to get to it too. I wish I had a pic showing the entire area all together. I am also wondering about the wooded areas, I will have to cut back a good bit of brush before new growth starts this spring, but I wonder if they will be happy among the trees?
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011

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