The Butcher's Guild
tloc1000 private msg quote post Address this user
My uncle recently willed some land to me and my cousin. I plan on fencing it and starting to raise cattle to get the ag exemption on the land. My brother inlaw already raises cattle and has them butchered and then sells the meat to friends, family, and co-workers. The butcher he uses has a 3-4 month wait. I was thinking about combining the cattle from our ranches and then opening a butcher shop/ meat market in our local town. It is in the Dallas area.

I have no experience in butchering except for the deer and hogs I hunt. I do everything including grinding but I have no idea about what cuts of meat I am making.

So, my questions really are:

Can the animal be slaughtered at the same place it is butchered?
What is an estimated cost of opening a butcher shop?
Would it be worth going hoof to market?
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hertzmann private msg quote post Address this user
In most states, any meat sold to the public requires inspection by the FSIS. In some states there is a certified state branch that performs the same function for meat not going across state lines. Setting up a small slaughtering facility is not prohibitive, but you MUST be familiar with the rules and be somewhat politically connected in your county. You can process the meat at the slaughtering facility, but not in the same rooms. Once again, this is highly regulated so read the rules.
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memays private msg quote post Address this user
yes, all meat sold must be inspected by FSIS. check your states dept of ag to see if you have a state program. www.fsis.usda.gov is the website, but it’s difficult to navigate, be aware! state programs are usually the best bet for small producers b/c the federal regulators are costly.
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COcraftbutch private msg quote post Address this user
TX allows state inspection, but you cannot sell across state lines. As mentioned above, you’ll need USDA inspection for selling to customers across state lines.

If you’d like, I’d be happy to have a short conversation with you about the costs, time, and regulations involved in getting a project like you’re describing off the ground.

In my opinion, 3-4 month wait time for slaughter appointments is common around the country. However, many times if you can schedule your feeding and finishing of your cattle to be somewhat consistent throughout the year, you can often put together a standing set of appointments with the slaughterhouse and build a strong relationship with them. Regular customers are usually very welcome with small processors.
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BobbieJo private msg quote post Address this user
We share our info about our business start up. We built a slaughter facility with a small retail space fronting it and have been operating over 4 years; the 4 year anniversary was October 17, 2017.

Email ty@storycitylocker.com if you'd like to start a conversation with us.

Bobbie Gustafson
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wingebach private msg quote post Address this user
In general, unless your selling to HRI (Hotels, restaurants, and institutions) your processing room does not have to be inspected only your kill floor. Your processing area could be inspected as a grocery store (By Tx dept of ag, much less intrusive). Unless Texas requires USDA type inspection. Look up west tx meats on FB. You'll need around 1 mil depending on the size, volume etc. No, it's not worth it to start from scratch.
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tloc1000 private msg quote post Address this user
Thank you for all the replies!

I still need to get the property fenced and then buy some cattle. My main goal is to get AG on the property but I have also been thinking about a butcher shop/ meat market in my town so, in my mind, I could combine the 2. If I do get the meat market up, I'm not sure what type of volume I would be doing and I may not have enough cattle to raise to fulfill that demand (hopefully).

COCraftbutch and BobbieJo, I will definitely get in touch with you! Thank you for your willingness to share!
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