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  #1  
Old 05/06/12, 02:01 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dawsonville. ga
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slaughter house and meat market business

Where I am from there isnt many places that will slaughter your livestock and poultry. My question what legalities do you have to go through to open up a business like that? I do know a being a butcher is like being an artist. So I know its not something you jump into and figure out.

We have a good bit of farms where we are but not a really good infrastructure to support them. We have to travel a good bit to obtain such services.

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  #2  
Old 05/06/12, 02:03 PM
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
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It really does depend a lot on your state laws. Some states make it fairly easy, others not so much.

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  #3  
Old 05/06/12, 04:54 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Michigan's thumb
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If you are butchering your own animals and selling them to the final consumer, you can probably do it. If you are butchering someone elses animals then your shop will need to be regularly visited by a USDA inspector. If the meat is going beyond the owner, like to a restaurant or grocery, you need more inspecting- I think you have to have one there on the premises at the time. There will be minimum things you need to do, like have everything stainless steel. You will need to be able to dispose of the offal, as well.

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Old 05/06/12, 04:55 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 6,127

It's possible that there are no slaughter houses because the local laws are too difficult to work with.

Another big problem with opening a slaughter house is protests, resistance, and fires set by the local humaniacs.

Contact your state's APHIS (USDA) veterinarian. Those are the guys who do slaughter house inspections and they should be able to tell you what you would need to do.

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  #5  
Old 05/06/12, 05:08 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 11,153

I have never seen anywhere poultry is processed along with hooved animals.

I'd start with the county and state board of animal health, or what ever they call them in GA.

Another idea I have heard is portable slaughter/processing facility (truck mounted, where everything is done at the farm site.

Not sure how it works for meat that needs to hang, for a while.

Good luck.

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  #6  
Old 05/06/12, 05:56 PM
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Maine
Posts: 355

Here in Maine the laws I guess are pretty lenient. I do not know of one slaughterhouse that does NOT do hooved and poultry alike simply because chickens are high profit ($3 per bird) and hooved animals keep the doors opened all year.

Here Custom Slaughterhouses abound because the laws are so lax, where as there are a few USDA Inspected Slaughterhouses, however the toughest regulations are actually found at the State level.

You are kind of in a good position to do something like this though, if you have resolve, and are prepared for a lengthy permitting process. That is because the need for slaughterhouses is so great in some locations, that there is a fair amount of money for funding such a venture. The USDA and other farm capital companies are really driven to build some more processing centers.

They say the money is doing what no one else wants to do, and like I said, at $3 per bird how could you NOT make money! Go for it my friend...

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  #7  
Old 05/06/12, 05:57 PM
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Originally Posted by Maura View Post
I If you are butchering someone elses animals then your shop will need to be regularly visited by a USDA inspector.
Pretty sure this is not true. Custom processors can process for the public without USDA. I know in Minnesota you can slaughter your own for sale without USDA inspection, (with state licensing) within state lines.
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Last edited by tinknal; 05/06/12 at 07:11 PM.
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  #8  
Old 05/06/12, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shdybrady View Post
Where I am from there isnt many places that will slaughter your livestock and poultry. My question what legalities do you have to go through to open up a business like that? I do know a being a butcher is like being an artist. So I know its not something you jump into and figure out.

We have a good bit of farms where we are but not a really good infrastructure to support them. We have to travel a good bit to obtain such services.
We're building our own on-farm USDA inspected slaughterhouse, butcher shop and smokehouse. See here:

Butcher Shop at Sugar Mountain Farm - Pastured Pigs by Walter Jeffries — Kickstarter

That link will take you to our Kickstarting the Butcher Shop project where you can see a video, a lot of photos and story of our project. Then go here:

ButcherShop | Sugar Mountain Farm

where you'll find a lot of articles on my blog about the process we've been through to start up our own inspected butcher shop.

Then contact your state agency of agriculture and ask them about the state inspected programs - easier to get started with. But build to USDA specifications. Then go here:

Small & Very Small Plant Outreach

which is the USDA's very small meat processing plant outreach page.

Read all the regulations, three times.

Depending on what you're doing you may or may not need inspected. You may or may not need USDA. You do need full liability insurance and they may insist on inspection.

If you're doing enough volume it is definitely worth building your own facility. Processing costs us a full day each week plus about 30% to 50% of our income from each pig. Doing it ourselves saves that, keeping the money in our pocket. The facility will pay for itself rapidly as well as providing work for our family on our farm.

If you're doing to do the actual butchering you'll need to learn that too. I strongly suggest apprenticing. My wife, our eldest son and I apprenticed for 18 months to learn the art of commercial meat cutting with master butcher Cole Ward. He has a two DVD set that is well worth getting. The Gourmet Butcher.com - Home

Cheers,

-Walter Jeffries
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
ButcherShop | Sugar Mountain Farm

Check out our Kickstarting the Butcher Shop project at:
Butcher Shop at Sugar Mountain Farm - Pastured Pigs by Walter Jeffries — Kickstarter
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  #9  
Old 05/06/12, 06:10 PM
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Location: in this day and age? i will keep that to myself thanks
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I think a portable operation would be very profitable if you have the $ to get started and you're a local person who knows a lot of people. Now is the time to do something like that. My dad comes from several generations of butchers and was raised in his dad's small meat market. Our family has a lot of successful businesses. He bought a small slaughterhouse/meat market in rural KS in the 80s and failed miserably. It didn't matter what kind of butcher he was - he wasn't from around there and the people didn't trust outsiders.

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Old 05/06/12, 08:43 PM
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In our state you are going to be inspected, some how some way, if you butcher for resale more than just butchering for the owner. > Marc

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  #11  
Old 05/06/12, 09:07 PM
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
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Originally Posted by springvalley View Post
In our state you are going to be inspected, some how some way, if you butcher for resale more than just butchering for the owner. > Marc
Any facility will be inspected, but the question is how much. Big difference between periodic state inspection and daily USDA inspection.
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  #12  
Old 05/07/12, 11:58 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Michigan's thumb
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Originally Posted by tinknal View Post
Pretty sure this is not true. Custom processors can process for the public without USDA. I know in Minnesota you can slaughter your own for sale without USDA inspection, (with state licensing) within state lines.
I know here the packing houses have to be inspected on a regular basis. They are looking for sanitary conditions. If I am buying half a cow from my neighbor, then I own the cow. I pay the farmer for the hanging weight, then pay the butcher when I pick up the meat. The packages are marked "not for resale". I spoke with the owner of one of the packing houses about butchering for a restaurant and she said she could do it but would need an inspector. The end consumer is my family in one case, but restaurant customers in another.
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  #13  
Old 05/07/12, 05:27 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NW Oregon
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Went here 10 years ago in my State. When I called and asked about butchering, the State sent me 24 pages of regulations. Having a Lawyer friend look though it, he LOL and asked if we had $100,000.00 for start up cost.

Edit: spelling

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  #14  
Old 05/07/12, 05:38 PM
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maura View Post
I know here the packing houses have to be inspected on a regular basis. They are looking for sanitary conditions. If I am buying half a cow from my neighbor, then I own the cow. I pay the farmer for the hanging weight, then pay the butcher when I pick up the meat. The packages are marked "not for resale". I spoke with the owner of one of the packing houses about butchering for a restaurant and she said she could do it but would need an inspector. The end consumer is my family in one case, but restaurant customers in another.
I believe you, but as I said, state laws vary. I think that restaurants may be a whole different category than ordinary retail sales, there being an intermediary between the processor and the ultimate consumer.
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  #15  
Old 05/07/12, 05:54 PM
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 2,323

Here in OK only meat cuts processed in a USDA inspected facility can be sold retail. We can sell the live animal and then transport it to a processing facility where the new owner will pay for all processing. That processor doesn't need to be USDA, as it is a private transaction. They are inspected periodically and (I believe) licensed. We can on-farm process and sell up to 1000 head of poultry with no inspection as long as the customer comes and buys the chicken, turkey, whatever directly from the farm premises. As has been said - each State has different regulations, be sure you understand yours.

Mary

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