yea! DH said 'maybe' to meat birds!!!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by OHChick, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. OHChick

    OHChick Songster

    May 8, 2007
    so i've been pestering DH about meat birds for a few months now and he has consistently said no. but a friend of a friend of ours raises chickens (both layers and meat) and she said 'eggs draw in my customers but meat is what makes me the big $'. even at that DH was a firm NO. but yesterday when we were in the barn, i pointed to the temp chicken housing where we brooded our layers until they got moved into their hen house and said 'well i guess we need to clean that out and open it back up' and he said 'or we could finish it the right way and get some meat birds'. i was totally taken aback! i hope he doesn't change his mind come spring when we could actually have some.

    does anyone have any advice for me on them? the lady i talked to said cornish X are the way to go and that she slaughters every 6-8 weeks.

    i'm excited.... i hope it works out.
  2. OffSpring

    OffSpring In the Brooder

    Sep 13, 2007
    United Kingdom
    I can't really comment as I have only processed 1 bird so far and that was for our own personal consumption...

    I guess it makes sense that there would be more money in meat, but I did it to know that my family was eating good, healthy food, where we knew the source and care that had gone in to it from start to finish!

    But I just wanted to say good luck with your new venture and I wish you all the best!

    Also, if you have never processed your own birds, don't worry it's really straight forward and easy to do. I personally found it easyier to cover the head when "doing the dispatch" as I couldn't bare making eye contact!
  3. OHChick

    OHChick Songster

    May 8, 2007
    thanks offspring. not sure if i'd process my own or not.... i think it would freak me out to do it, but DH is much more matter-of-fact about those sorts of thing, he'd probably do well with it.

    i agree with the 'knowing where your food comes from' idea. we raised a hereford steer for a while and had him butchered. and on the one hand i felt bad, but on the other hand i know that cow was well fed, well taken care of, not given artificial hormones, etc and we are still eating on him over a year later.
  4. I have to agree there is more money in the meat birds than a layer flock. Less care too in that it's a seasonal thing. More work cleaning while you have them in the last 3 or 4 weeks but it's a spurt and they are gone. Layer flock being year round is more of a tie down (getting someone to care for them if you go away) and hassle with frozen water and such.

    Having said all that the meat birds are more intence work at the time. I do one flock a year so far, about 500 birds which is enough to get my farm status and then I'm done. It's 7 weeks of non-stop care and cleaning then it cascades right into a couple huge days of going to the processor and getting the product to the customers or arranging pickup. But them I'm done for the year, yea!
  5. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    what do they charge you to process your birds? do you give it to customers as you receieve it back like in the same packaging or do you change it. thanks
  6. Sherriekim

    Sherriekim Songster

    Aug 20, 2007
    Southwest Idaho
    Pickles has some good questions and she also made me think of a few others I've been wondering about... like what do you have to do to be able to legally sell processed birds if you butcher them yourselves? I was just thinking about all the inspections they have for commercially processed birds. I do know one lady that sells her free range processed chickens for $10.00 a piece, but she has them butchered at a processing plant. BTW, I do know that it cost her about $2 a bird for the processing and the eight dollars left after that wouldn't leave much profit after feed cost, etc.... I was also curious about packaging for sale .... just a vaccum seal bag or butcher paper or ??? What would you put on the label, if range, organic? I know you have to be careful when you use the word organic, it has different meanings to different people. Do you plan on advertising or just word of mouth? I was thinking word of mouth to avoid selling to complete strangers. I'm a worry wart when it comes to people trying to sue or even just cause problems over things like "Your chicken made me sick.", etc.... Just wondering, sorry, didn't mean to hijack your post!
  7. jacque

    jacque In the Brooder

    Nov 7, 2007
    Duncan, B.C. Canada
    I'd like to hear about the rules, as well....In Canada we can legally keep 200 birds for our own consumption, after that, you need to have a permit or lots of rules...

    Processing on the Island is either so much a bird or bird base rate and so much a lb. after that....

    When we buy our feed, the stores now have to fill out paperwork for the Government, same as the Hatcheries need to let them know what they've sold and to who.....It's starting to get very complicated.....everything is regulated and then some....So much, for wonder everyone is quitting the farmgate sales....
  8. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    Here's what I've been able to find out in TN, your mileage may vary:

    I need a permit to sell "unclassified" eggs -- don't know yet what an unclassified egg is but apparently that's what my hens are laying. I'll post an update when I've had a chance to read the material that was sent.

    Quote from TN Dept. of Ag:
    "Lorie, as far as my Food & Dairy, you would be regulated under retail food statues as you sell your meats (you would not have to have a store front, you would need to store the meats in a separate freezer than you household foods in a clean environment at the proper temps) that were slaughtered under USDA inspection and under Good Manufacturing Practices for the sell[sic] of unclassified eggs."

    My "local" USDA inspected processing plant, located somewhere in KY, charges a base price of $2.85 per bird. Special requests, like cut into pieces, cost extra.

    I have also registered for a state sales and use tax permit because being in the ag business on even a small level qualifies me to purchase farm equipment and supplies free of sales tax -- if I have the proper paper work to submit to the co-op, TSC, Kubota, and anyone else I make taxable purchases from. I filed for the permit online. If your state doesn't have online filing you may need to go to your county clerk's office to get the form. Oh yeah, the purchases have to be used for the production of your ag product or you're required to pay the use tax.

    I hope this helps someone. I probably wouldn't have gotten started looking into all the legal aspects if my sister hadn't mentioned it. A good friend who knows something about starting/operating a business can be a great asset when it comes to thinking of things that you might over look. All I'd been thinking about was how many birds can I raise to slaughter age on 5 acres without being overwhelmed.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: