Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?  (Read 4670 times)

Paul and Caroline

  • Joined Apr 2014
Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« on: November 25, 2017, 08:50:09 am »
Hi - can I ask those of you who sell your meat what prices you charge? We raise lamb and weaners and whilst doing our research we have seen half and whole lambs, butchered, packaged and labelled, for just £70 and £130 respectively. We wonder where the profit is at that price when we pay £30 for slaughter and £30 for butchery and then we have to package and label it. When you take into account the cost of hard feed, hay, transport, vaccinations, worming and fluking, plus the on costs of looking after the Ewes that produce the lambs, never mind the hours spent doing it.......!! Is that the going price and are we being unrealistic in looking to charge more or are those prices very cheap?

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2017, 09:12:15 am »
£30 for butchery and £30 for slaughter??!! Thatís very pricey, our is £19 to kill and cut up...

Paul and Caroline

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2017, 09:20:49 am »
£30 for butchery and £30 for slaughter??!! Thatís very pricey, our is £19 to kill and cut up...

The abattoir raised its price from £22 to £30 this year for lambs and the butcher raised from £25 to £30. The costs I quoted didn't include the transport to or from the  abattoir which is 90 miles away (and is our nearest one). This year We got our lambs free from my local farmer (they are pet lambs)  because we raised all his pet lambs to weaning for him (175 of them!) so he paid for the lamlac and the first few weeks of hard feed. Next year we will have lambs from our Ewes that are now running with the tup so hopefully the oncosts will decrease significantly...

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2017, 09:36:24 am »
Youíre paying a lot more for your slaughter and butchery than I ever have.

In Cumbria I paid £22 all in - kill and cut - using the slaughterhouse the butcher used so he picked up the carcasses on his regular trips.  Heíd bag and label with his own labels for that price too, but vac pack was extra.  He would use my labels if I supplied them, but didnít have a setup to print weights onto my labels.

In Cornwall Iím paying about the same; just had 10 done, all bagged and labelled with weights, 4 animals vac packed, came to just under £250 all in.  Vac pack is +£7 per animal.  Sausages, burgers, etc, are extra, as youíd expect.  Again, using the slaughterhouse the butcher uses so the butcher fetches the carcasses. 

The butchers are doing a lot of business with the abattoir so they pay a lot less for slaughter than we would if we went direct.  I think I priced it once, up in Cumbria.  It was something like £16 slaughter if I paid the abattoir direct, but the butcher was paying only £11-ish.  So I was effectively getting all the butchery for £6 :o
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Paul and Caroline

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2017, 10:47:03 am »
Youíre paying a lot more for your slaughter and butchery than I ever have.

In Cumbria I paid £22 all in - kill and cut - using the slaughterhouse the butcher used so he picked up the carcasses on his regular trips.  Heíd bag and label with his own labels for that price too, but vac pack was extra.  He would use my labels if I supplied them, but didnít have a setup to print weights onto my labels.

In Cornwall Iím paying about the same; just had 10 done, all bagged and labelled with weights, 4 animals vac packed, came to just under £250 all in.  Vac pack is +£7 per animal.  Sausages, burgers, etc, are extra, as youíd expect.  Again, using the slaughterhouse the butcher uses so the butcher fetches the carcasses. 

The butchers are doing a lot of business with the abattoir so they pay a lot less for slaughter than we would if we went direct.  I think I priced it once, up in Cumbria.  It was something like £16 slaughter if I paid the abattoir direct, but the butcher was paying only £11-ish.  So I was effectively getting all the butchery for £6 :o

I think our abattoir (and for that matter the butcher) knows we don't have many viable alternatives so it's a case of supply and demand. On the plus side our butchery costs include any sausages produced from the trimmings etc

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2017, 10:53:06 am »
Ouch. I pay £30 for kill and cut (£17 kill, £13 cut). It used to be £25 but the abattoir put up the kill charge because skin prices had dropped. If paying £60 for kill and cut is your only option you'd probably be better off selling fat at market or deadweight to the abattoir and not selling direct. That's just extortionate.

crobertson

  • Joined Sep 2015
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2017, 12:50:25 pm »
Wow, we use our local butcher who also kills onsite. He charged us £20 per lamb last month for them to be killed, cut and packaged. The packaged meat off each half lamb was also put into separate bags with weights on to help when selling! And the £20 was a price increase from last year !

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2017, 12:55:01 pm »
Going back to the question of what you can sell for, we sell whole hogget for £100 each, so £130 is a fair price if yours are heavier.  Our butchery is by weight and I can't remember the slaughter charge offhand, but it's under £20, plus like Sally our butcher uses the same abattoir so no extra charge for collection.  Our abattoir is about 25 miles away.
We only get animals slaughtered which are not up to standard for selling for breeding, so we are not looking for a profit on them as you are, and in fact most go into our own freezer. We like to sell enough to cover our costs.  As you want a profit from the enterprise then you are at a great disadvantage from the beginning with such high slaughter and cutting costs.

For adding value to your product, the breed counts.  If you have a rare breed, or sheep raised on salt flats, or heather or whatever, then you can use that as a selling point for higher prices. You could sell whole lambs for spit roasting, same with pigs.  If you are killing large numbers then you can advertise online where the prices seem quite high.  But you can't get out of the slaughter costs.


Perhaps you should be looking at your other costs, for example raise your meat animals on grass alone, rather than with hard feed.  Is there another butcher who would do the cutting cheaper, but to a good standard - there's little worse than chips of bone in meat from sawing while frozen and customers will not buy it?
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 01:02:06 pm by Fleecewife »
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bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2017, 01:59:15 pm »
I usually pay around £30 for kill and cut. I tried to sell my lambs to friends and family for £100 each, or £50 for half but their far to used to buying New Zealand Lamb on sale that they all thought it was far too expensive. These days I sell all of my lambs to a big local buyer. They usually go for between £55-£75, dependant on time of year, condition etc.  and its far more cost effective for me to sell direct to him.

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2017, 04:23:16 pm »
I am charging £60 for a half lamb or sheep. Kill and cut is just over £30 per animal. But as others have said this is not my main produce, that is breeding stock so the meat price is to offset costs rather than make a profit.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2017, 05:31:13 pm »
We breed for our own meat - there are 20+ adult residents, 9 resident children and quite a few visitors throughout the year - and for fleece for crafting.  At present our breeding and fleece programme produces a small surplus of hoggets, which we advertise as whole or half a hogget at £8/kg. We kept the smallest and the largest for ourselves, weights of the Ďto sellí hoggets this time were from 8.8kgs to 10.3kgs in a half, which we sold at £65-£80 a half.  Iím sure I could have sold more if Iíd charged less, but feedback from customers has been :yum:, so hopefully theyíll come back for more next year.

We also took all the skins to Devonia for processing.  £2 per skin to the abbatoir, itíll be £25+VAT to Devonia per skin, a five hour round trip to take them in and a three hour to collect... this first batch will probably mostly all go as presents, but in future weíll be looking to sell some.  Like kill and butchery costs, itís always charged per animal, but the end product fetches less if itís smaller, so weíll have to how that goes. There might not be a lot of margin in it, but theyíre lovely sknis so it would be a shame not to do soemthing with them.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Paul and Caroline

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2017, 08:46:44 am »
Going back to the question of what you can sell for, we sell whole hogget for £100 each, so £130 is a fair price if yours are heavier.  Our butchery is by weight and I can't remember the slaughter charge offhand, but it's under £20, plus like Sally our butcher uses the same abattoir so no extra charge for collection.  Our abattoir is about 25 miles away.
We only get animals slaughtered which are not up to standard for selling for breeding, so we are not looking for a profit on them as you are, and in fact most go into our own freezer. We like to sell enough to cover our costs.  As you want a profit from the enterprise then you are at a great disadvantage from the beginning with such high slaughter and cutting costs.

For adding value to your product, the breed counts.  If you have a rare breed, or sheep raised on salt flats, or heather or whatever, then you can use that as a selling point for higher prices. You could sell whole lambs for spit roasting, same with pigs.  If you are killing large numbers then you can advertise online where the prices seem quite high.  But you can't get out of the slaughter costs.


Perhaps you should be looking at your other costs, for example raise your meat animals on grass alone, rather than with hard feed.  Is there another butcher who would do the cutting cheaper, but to a good standard - there's little worse than chips of bone in meat from sawing while frozen and customers will not buy it?

Hi Fleecewife - I think I may have confused people with what I am hoping for from my smallholding. I don't want to make a living from the proceeds, rather I would just like to hav'our' meat paid for from the 'profit' made from selling it. I have just 1 customer so far and he collects his meat direct from the butcher, so food handling issues do not arise - yet.

Thus far we have only had the pet lambs from our neighbour and they are weaned of the milk powder at just 6 weeks, so we have been advised we needed to supplement their diet with hard feed, at least for the first few weeks post weaning.  We have our first 2 breeding Ewes running with the tup now until mid December (on our neighbours farm) so we should get our first (non pet) lambs in April. We have kept a further 4 Ewe lambs from this years crop to put to the tup for lambing in 2019 and that should dramatically reduce feed costs. I have asked the same question of my local smallholders association and someone has identified a much cheaper abattoir not that much further away and he is also trying to set up a butchery course aimed at giving students the skills to break down entire carcasses, rather than the normal ones that do little more than teach you to bone and roll a leg. Somebody else has come forward telling me he has a fully kitted out container that he used to use to butcher carcasses and make sausages which is standing idle and we are going to talk 'terms' re us renting it when we (hopefully) are skilled enough to do our own butchery. We were amazed to find that he is just a 15 minute walk away!

The power of gossip - I mean networking eh??

Dans

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2017, 10:21:17 pm »
We charged £9/kg for our Castlemilk moorit mutton. I was worried it wouldn't sell but we had more orders than we had animals. They didn't weigh as much as I would hope (between 7 and 9kg for a half sheep), but it was our first time and I have a lot to learn.

If we think about the costs I'll probably cry. Our kill and cut was £34 per sheep, but we bought these ewes as part of our start up flock (£60 each) and culled down to a more reasonable number of sheep for our land based on first lambing. Because we haven't had many sheep the costs of clik and heptavac were high (Wormer our vet dosed out for us). But one of the ewes did give us two lambs.

Like SiN we are trying to make the most of each animal. We have got back the horns and skins from the sheep (no charge from the abattoir) and we are hoping to sell these as well once they are ready. I don't think they will make a profit, or possibly even pay for the half sheep we kept back for ourselves, but I am hoping that at the end of it all they will have covered their costs.

Hope that helps.

Dans
9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way

www.sixoaks.co.uk

www.facebook.com/pg/sixoakssmallholding

www.goodlife.sixoaks.co.uk

Coximus

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2017, 12:29:58 pm »
A fair and more normal price would be £30 per animal KILL and BUTCHERED.

From expeirence, the higher the price the less you sell,. so it depends, are you doing it as a hobby or trying to make it break even or even a living out of it?

90% of farming profit is about avoiding costs... you ultimately have little control of the end market price beyond choosing your outlet.

I sold whole hebrideans butchered out at 7/KG for a whole animal, 9/kg for halfs and refused to do anything smaller simply because its not economic to faff about with a small £30 or 40 order.

To make it pay, simply DO Not buy in hard feed, minimise the hay and silage you buy and manage your grass to ensure you always have grazing - so your not spending money, and make sure your fat lamb production is fast growing - IE if you keep a slow growing rare breed, breed replacements as you need them, but cross with a Texel or Suffolk / Charolais etc to get lambs that get to 40kg in 3-4 months... on grass and grass alone. YOu can then sell those lambs at market for 60-75 but they cost you 10-20 to raise.....

Often selling meat is actually less profitable than selling a lamb for 60 flat out, with nothing to do bar drive it to market.... by the time you factor in all the faff even if your getting 3x the price/kg.

DontPanic

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Otley, Yorkshire
Re: Selling your meat - what price do you charge?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2018, 04:53:43 pm »
Hi Coximus,

Just Wondered If you would mind me contacting you regarding My Interest in Sheep.
I Live Local To You in Otley and am Very Keen to Learn More about Sheep in Terms of Primitive/Native Ewes
Crossed with a Quality Terminal Sire Etc
I Been Trying  to PM you but am not Great with all this Technology Stuff!?
Many Thanks

Michael (Don't Panic!?)

 
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