What must you do in order to legally sell meat birds?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ninjapoodles, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    I'm thinking that at some point, we're going to have more chickens and turkeys to process than will fit in our freezers. Is it legal to sell the "extras," if you do not have a USDA-approved plant? Do the laws vary from state to state? If so, where do you look to find out what the law is?
     
  2. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    Call your Extension office. It varies by state to state, and greatly at that. In my state, it requires State inspection not USDA. Other states require USDA inspection. Your Extension agent likely already has a pamphlet ready to go as surely the question gets asked a lot.

    For me, I have to use a State approved processor (or get approval for my farm, but I don't have the facilities) and then can only sell whole, chilled chickens. I need additional permits to freeze or repackage the bird. Recently many counties here have been investing in mobile slaughter/packaging facilities to make things easier.
     
  3. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Thanks for the info! How do you find an outside processor? Extension office again?
     
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Washington State
    Yeah. Mine has a map with dots on it and phone numbers. Now, getting one to actually take anyone's birds but their own is a problem in my state. I imagine there are more poultry producers in the South, though.
     
  5. WrenAli

    WrenAli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
    Lebanon, OR
    I avoid the whole thing by selling my chickens "live" and have them butchered as a service. The same as I do with my steers and lamb.

    Though I have looked onto getting my meat sellers license through the state when my local processor finally opens.
     
  6. ninjapoodles

    ninjapoodles Sees What You Did There

    May 24, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Quote:What do you mean by "have them butchered as a service?" By whom? I'd really rather have the turkeys done by a professional, if I can find one. Do you drop off the live birds somewhere, or have people come pick them up?
     
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Washington State
    The strategy is you charge them for the animal, then process them for 'free'.

    However, this is not sound strategy. You cannot process an animal for anyone elses's consumption, other than your own, without proper permits from your state or USDA. You are just asking for trouble.
     
  8. WrenAli

    WrenAli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
    Lebanon, OR
    I take my live birds to a State licensed Poultry Slaughter facility. Then deliver the neatly wrapped packages to my customers. I can do this as I am selling "live" animals.

    *Just a note for Oregon (Only applies to Oregon) - If you are processing 'fryers' you may do so at your own farm without licensing as long as they "are sold, displayed, exposed or offered for sale to ultimate customers at the farm or ranch where the fryers were produced..." So it would be legal for me to process my own birds. But at $3.00 a bird to have it done elsewhere I save myself the hassle and time.


    I did some looking at Arkansas' laws.. and didn't find a lot, evil convoluted state websites. It looks like the state leaves their slaughter inspections up to the feds.

    The Law. The Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission, while having authority over the inspection of poultry processing facilities in the state, has designated the federal Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to inspect poultry slaughter and processing facilities.
    The Arkansas State Board of Health has statutory authority to pass regulations controlling sanitation at processing plants. The federal inspection exemption for poultry farmers applies to Arkansas operations.

    http://www.apppa.org/legalstates.pdf

    I could find nothing on small meat producers, just egg producers, so I would recommend you contact: The AR Livestock and Poultry Commission.
    http://www.arlpc.org/poultry.asp <Their Poultry Page. They could probably answer all your questions about local processors and legality of selling your birds.

    Hope this helps.
    Ali​
     
  9. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Washington State
    There was an intersting article in the capital press a few months ago, which I was certain said that all poultry sales had to be through USDA in Oregon... but ironically there were no USDA processors in the State.

    I'd just discourage anyone from selling "shares" in an animal, or offering them live then slaughtering as a 'courtsey'. Skirting laws, including health safey laws, my using creative wording has a definition. It's called conspiracy. don't take it lightly.
     
  10. brewer

    brewer New Egg

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    Check your state Ag laws. I found mine using Google. It appears that some states allow you to process a limited number of birds without inspection and sell them directly to the consumer, provided that they are raised on your property. As was mentioned, your extension agent should be able to provide you with that information.

    Good luck.
     

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