Cut Up Your Chickens to Make More Money

Tom and Ruth Neuberger run a free-range poultry operation on their farm in Canistota, South Dakota.  In search of additional income from their operation, they began looking at other value added products to serve their customers. What they learned through their SARE funded Farmer Rancher grant was that they could double the value of a whole bird by simply cutting it up and selling the parts in pound packages. Using funding from their SARE Grant, they purchased the equipment and supplies to create convenient food products for their customers.  They began selling cut-up chicken in pound packages, split and quarters chickens, ground chicken, BBQ wings, chicken snack sticks and dog food.  Many of the birds were seconds and would have been sold at discount if sold as whole birds. Customers were able to buy the products at a local farmers market and on the farm.  A newsletter to their customer list of over 3,000 people added to the marketing mix. The start up

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One thought on “Cut Up Your Chickens to Make More Money

  1. Also be sure to check into state and federal regulations about where and whether your can sell your cut-up poultry. In NH, the birds would have to be processed in a USDA plant and probably cut up there as well, although there’s a possibility that value added products for direct sale from the farm to the end consumer could be produced in a commercial kitchen if made from USDA birds. The vast majority of farm-raised poultry in New Hampshire are processed under the federal exemption, which allows slaughter of a limited number of birds on the farm for direct sale to customers who will serve the meat only to their households and non-paying guests.

    Each state will have slightly different variations on this theme, depending on whether there is a state meat inspection program or not.

    One thing is for sure, though: if your poultry was not slaughtered and processed under USDA inspection, you cannot transport it across state lines. Your customers may, as long as they purchase it in the state where it was produced.

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