Questions: Slaughtering small livestock legally in Texas

babalubirdJune 10, 2008

One of many things I'm looking into is raising/slaughtering my own chickens, tilapia and rabbits for restaurants, specialty meat markets and individuals. I can't find the info I need on the USDA site and I don't know if Texas has any special requirements. Our extension agent wasn't much help.

Is anyone doing this and what did you have to do to get the necessary licenses? What special equipment did you need for SMALL animals like these? Anyone in Texas here doing this who can give me state requirements?



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I too have been researching this topic (for chickens and lamb).

The lamb one is MUCH easier than the chicken problem.

Some people sell their chickens to Whole Foods, which requires people to use their (WF's)processor.

The only other way I've determined to legally get around this problem is to sell LIVE chicken, but give people the option to have free processing. Most states, Texas included, allow a small farm to process a certain number of birds without requiring a license. I've also found custom processors locally.

Somewhere, I have a list of places that will process chickens in Texas. Most seem to be closer to the Dallas area. Unfortunately, they tend to be rather pricey - $3 to process a chicken really runs up the price to the customer.

If you did it yourself, for chickens, you'd need a scalder, picker, and other equipment. Books like Joel Salatin's "Pasture Poultry Profit$" and Andy Lee and Patricia Foreman's "Day Range Poultry", are good resources.

I've no experience with fish or rabbits.

Good Luck - maybe the Texas people need to build their own processing plant!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 11:31PM
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Thanks. Those Lee and Foreman books look even more promising than the Salatin books. Thanks. Didn't know about those.

Yes! We need a rabbit processing plant here really bad. They are building a chicken plant for one of the really big corporate processors in Waco. My understanding though is you might as well be one of their underpaid worker bees if you're going to contract with them to raise their chickens their way!

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 11:42AM
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