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Locally Raised Poultry a Meat Shortage Option

A shortage of meat at some grocery stores because of the COVID-19 pandemic means shoppers are looking for other options.

One possibility is poultry from a local producer.

Producers wishing to merchandise poultry products need to meet certain requirements.

In North Dakota, producers/growers may slaughter and sell up to 20,000 healthy birds per year of any domesticated poultry on their farm. Producers/growers may slaughter and sell only the birds they raised on their own farm. Birds must be slaughtered at the owner’s farm under sanitary conditions and may be sold only to household consumers.

The birds can be sold on the farm and also off the farm, such as from refrigerated trucks the producers take on the road to sell poultry at various locations.

Carcasses or parts from birds may not be sold to hotels, restaurants, institutions or retail stores. Also, producers can’t use their facility to slaughter or process another person’s poultry.

To sell poultry this way, producers have to apply for an exemption from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and meet facility and sanitation requirements. If an exemption is granted, they must meet regulatory requirements that are verified through inspections.

Visit for more information about North Dakota’s poultry slaughter, processing and sales regulations for small-scale producers.

Minnesota poultry producers must register with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture as an on-farm exempt processor and meet the state’s regulations on the slaughter and sale of poultry. Visit for more information.

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