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Author Topic: Selling Christmas Turkeys?  (Read 3777 times)

Harebell

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Wiltshire
    • Maythorn Farm
Selling Christmas Turkeys?
« on: August 27, 2014, 11:38:26 am »
Has anyone done it before?   :turkey:

I have bred some lovely Bourbon Red turkeys this year and know a professional/registered slaughter man who will do oven ready turkeys.  He did a few geese and turkeys for us last year, as a trial run for our own consumption, and we were happy with his service.  The two Bourbon Red turkeys we had last year were the tastiest I’ve had!  They were also a good size.

I was hoping to get our young turkeys done this year and then sell to a few friends/family/people in the village and if this proves successful and there is demand, then I may do it on a slightly larger scale next year.

When we pick the turkeys up from the slaughter man, do we need to transport them in a cooled vehicle?  Can we store them in a fridge for a short time, if we cannot directly deliver to the consumer (i.e. they are away that day or at work).  Anything else I need to know?

I feel a bit clueless, sorry.  I’m quite used to taking lambs etc to the abattoir and taking home meat for my own freezer but selling is new to us.  If I don’t have the right set up at the moment to direct sell to consumers, that’s OK – I can still keep the turkeys for myself and my family.  But I would love to know all the in-and-outs so I could think about selling in the future.  My husband and I work full time at the moment but we live in a cottage next to my family’s (largely arable) farm, so we have access to lots of resources and scope to expand in the future.  I am currently building up a small sheep flock on the farm and would like to direct sale some lamb boxes in the future too.   

Any feedback appreciated  :)
Voss Electric Fence

Stereo

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Selling Christmas Turkeys?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 05:01:12 pm »
It's all a bit complicated. I think if you were raising and processing them yourselves you would be OK to sell a modest amount to friends and neighbours but not through a shop etc. I don't know if that changes once you bring in a licensed slaughter man though. It's a bit like eggs. Anyone can put eggs on the gate with few issues but as soon as you scale up or want to put them in a shop it gets tougher.

Out of interest, what does your guy charge per bird?

Harebell

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Wiltshire
    • Maythorn Farm
Re: Selling Christmas Turkeys?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 08:27:28 pm »
As I understand it, to sell to the general public you need a poultry slaughterman's licence.  You also need proper environment with washing facilities to prepare the turkeys and be possibly be inspected by the environmental health department.   I'd also have to properly dispose of all the left over bits with the fallen stock man.  I currently don't have a licence or really the proper facilities, hence using the slaughterman.  Plus doing more than one or two turkeys/geese is hard work without decent kit!  The slaughterman is not cheap though, at about £12 per bird.  It costs £18 to get my lambs done (with butchery costs on top of that)

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Selling Christmas Turkeys?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2014, 12:15:23 am »
Yep, you're right. To process any food for sale you need a food hygiene certificate and environmental health approval of your premises. Meat is even more complex and talking to the guys we've got our turkey from for the last couple of years, becoming even more so. I believe there are now stunning requirements etc. that there weren't before and the storage requirements are quite stringent. I think you're on much safer ground to get your licensed guy to do it for you. Is there any way of getting your customers to pick it up directly from him to save you having to transport and store them? Failing that, I would give your local EHO a call and ask their advice. I believe most are very helpful. We've got a handful of turkeys for Christmas this year and will, hopefully, have a hygiene approved kitchen by then although we still won't have the refrigeration capacity I think we'll need. Mostly it's an experiment to see if I can keep them alive that long so there are no plans to sell any of them but a certain amount of bartering may occur  :innocent:.

Eggs are different because you are not processing them - merely selling - so there is very little chance of hygiene problems compared with slaughtering a potentially salmonella laden bird.


Stereo

  • Joined Aug 2012
Re: Selling Christmas Turkeys?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2014, 01:50:35 pm »
Maybe things have changed. I went on Pammy and Ritchie Rigg's chicken processing course and I'm sure they said it was fine to slaughter a few and sell 'on the gate' as it were. I can't honestly recall all the detail but I think they said that it get's more complicated if you are selling indirectly (through a shop). But Hester is right, ring up and ask.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Selling Christmas Turkeys?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2014, 05:34:57 pm »
We shall be selling pork and lamb to order later this year and have to have separate sink for washing hands, hot water supply, fly-proof door and windowns, washable surfaces .....

Harebell

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Wiltshire
    • Maythorn Farm
Re: Selling Christmas Turkeys?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 06:11:49 pm »
We shall be selling pork and lamb to order later this year and have to have separate sink for washing hands, hot water supply, fly-proof door and windowns, washable surfaces .....

Hi Marches Farmer, is the sink, washable surfaces etc you have in a home/domestic environment or do you have a dedicated room/building for this?

My husband spoke to our local Environmental Health Officer today, which provided some answers and provided even more questions - I will speak to them again myself to see what our option are now and in the future.  Would still like to hear about other people's experiences  :)

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Selling Christmas Turkeys?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2014, 12:15:36 am »
Another good step would be to do your Hygiene Certificate (Level 2 I think the requirement is). You can normally find a course at a local college but I did mine on line. Part of this will cover the requirements for facilities, clean down, storage etc. Because I knew I wasn't going to be processing meat, I've managed to forget those bits but the premises parts would be the same for the food processing I'll be doing (honey, apple juice, occasional jams and pickles). You can have a domestic setting - I have a friend how has a five star hygiene certificate for her premises (she makes cup cakes) and she just does it in her own kitchen. You do, however, have to have the washable surfaces, the full clean down routine with records, risk assessment, a separate sink for handwashing and food prep, pets excluded etc. Personally I have no hope of ever achieving that level of hygiene in our own kitchen because I can't exclude the cats and I quite often have a sick chicken or duck hanging around the place so we're using part of an outbuilding to create a hygienic kitchen. Nothing fancy but I've got a stainless steel sink unit/surface from a commercial kitchen refurb (£35 - chuffed with that!) and it'll be a tiled floor that's wet room style with a drain in the middle so I can scrub that down too. Given that both the honey and the apple juice processing is on a bigger scale than worktop, I needed somewhere I could work in space and not worry about how to clean afterwards.

In your case, I guess you'd need to have different areas for slaughter and processing because I think it would be important to keep the cross contamination from live bird to bird prepped for eating minimised. I know there was a lot about separate areas for raw meat and cooked meat but I guess that's less relevant. Storage temps and how to monitor them will also be important. I don't know whether the slaughter requirements are a environmental health issue - did they mention it? It may be some other form of animal protection legislation that dictates method of slaughter.

Depending on how well you get on with your poultry slaughter man, you could ask him about the legislation - alternatively if there is a big local commercial farm, it might be worth having a chat with them. Hopefully they'd be happy to help since you're unlikely to reach a size to be commercially dangerous to them and they'd probably realise how complex the requirements are for a novice.

Stereo, I think if you give, rather than sell, your meat to friends and relatives the legislation is different. I know you can home slaughter four legged animals if the meat is entirely for your own consumption. I'm not sure but I think the difference comes when you are selling the meat rather than giving it away although clearly you should have the same hygiene considerations either way.

H

 

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