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Selling Farm Related Products

From vermiculture and selling rabbit manure to rent-a-bunny for Easter photographs, this forum is a place to discuss other ideas for making a profit from rabbits.
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Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Truckinguy » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:48 am


I was wondering what's involved in getting into the farming or agricultural business. I'm talking about selling things like eggs, chickens, chicks, rabbits, turkeys, compost, worms, worm poo, crushed egg shells and any other farm, garden or agriculture related items I can think of. I guess I'm looking for Ontario-specific advice but I'm wondering what additional scrutiny I could expect from government agencies. I suppose it would open me up to possible animal activist attention too.

Sorry, I guess it's a very general question but I'm exploring the option of doing this instead of going back to trucking. In the end the mortgage will dictate my direction but in the meantime I'm looking at what else I can do. I currently provide eggs, rabbits and turkeys to family and friends but would like to step it up and do it within any regulations that apply here on a scale that would pay my bills. I'm a truck driver and no stranger to working long hours in any weather so my work ethic isn't an issue but jumping through the hoops on any possible regulations is a bit intimidating.

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Re: Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:10 am


It would be very nice for you, Truckinguy, if you can make a living from it. I could be dead-wrong, but I think the way to go would be to look for a high-end niche market. How much land do you have?

OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) might be good place to start. Any regulations would be under their jurisdiction, I think.
http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/

I'll be giving this some more thought but I wanted to jump right in with a bit of encouragement to check it out.

:good-luck:

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Re: Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Truckinguy » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:25 am


Thanks, Maggie, I appreciate that. I only have 1/4 acre but my expenses aren't too great. If I could expand what I have going here already (chickens, rabbits, turkeys) plus add a few more items I think I could do ok. I don't want to get rich, just want to pay the bills and maybe get a part time job rather than go back to the long hours of trucking. I have a business registered, still have to get an HST number, have a web site and a blog that needs some updating and live not too far from a fairly large population base in addition to being about an hour from Toronto.

I"m looking for ways to work with the butchering regulations here. I know it's illegal to sell meat but I'm wondering if there are ways to sell an animal live and provide free processing as a way around that. If I sell a turkey or rabbit on paper the government might want to know the condition I sold them in and require me to have an approved processing facility as opposed to my table and hoist in the back yard...lol

Chicken and turkey feathers seem to be legal but eagle and hawk feathers are not.

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Re: Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Knacker » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:13 pm


I was just looking at some literature for Alberta residence and it seems processing and labeling is half the battle; the labeling being the easier of the 2. I'm sure Ontario has Direct Marketing rules and regs somewhere on that link that MaggieJ gave.

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/agdex3482

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Re: Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#5  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:19 pm


I never got into selling rabbits on any scale, but every so often there'd be someone who wanted rabbit meat. I sold the rabbits live, but then dispatched them here to ensure it was done properly. I was willing to process the rabbits as a favour if that's what the customer wanted.

I don't know if that strategy made what I was doing legal or not. It made me feel more comfortable though, if anyone questioned it. They never did.

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Re: Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Knacker » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:36 pm


MaggieJ wrote:I never got into selling rabbits on any scale, but every so often there'd be someone who wanted rabbit meat. I sold the rabbits live, but then dispatched them here to ensure it was done properly. I was willing to process the rabbits as a favour if that's what the customer wanted.

I don't know if that strategy made what I was doing legal or not. It made me feel more comfortable though, if anyone questioned it. They never did.


I know some of the small livestock (chickens, turkeys, pigs, lamb, ect.) producers around us sell animals live, not sure if they would do the butchering for "free". I would have no problem doing what you do or have done but then I also wouldn't be advertising; just sell word-of-mouth. Besides maybe some tax implications, I do not believe there is anything illegal by butchering an animal with the new "owner".

One of the families I met at this past weekends show breed "show" rabbits and sell all their non-keepers to a company that makes dog food. They get over $3/lb.

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Re: Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Ramjet » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:28 pm


Truckinguy wrote:I"m looking for ways to work with the butchering regulations here. I know it's illegal to sell meat but I'm wondering if there are ways to sell an animal live and provide free processing as a way around that. If I sell a turkey or rabbit on paper the government might want to know the condition I sold them in and require me to have an approved processing facility as opposed to my table and hoist in the back yard...lol

Chicken and turkey feathers seem to be legal but eagle and hawk feathers are not.



I sell my rabbits live and butcher in exchange for the hide ....
Hindsight is always 20/20 but looking back its still a bit fuzzy.

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Re: Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#8  Unread postby ladysown » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:11 pm


you CAN sell meat as long as you have it done at a proper processor... I know a few people who do so.

You can look into hides, rabbit feet, skulls (I know children around here who was VERY curious about wanting my rabbit skulls but I just haven't gone there with them).

From what I've been told you CANNOT offer to process for free.... I've been told they've covered that loop hole but that's just word of mouth telling.

Depending on your market the raw food crowd is DEFINITELY something to look into, particularly to the snake owners AND if you don't mind culling rabbits at various ages. Be alert (learned this the hard way) some will ask you for food for their animal.. but without the hide and innards.. and then you find out later that they were eating said rabbit. I CANNOT risk that and if I am thinking for a dog/cat I don't worry about removing EVERYTHING from the rabbit as they don't pay no never mind to the stray poop pellet or digestive track remains but for people.. I'd be rather less inclined to have that there. Even clearly labelling NOT for human consumption I just wouldn't go there... BUT whole dead frozen stock to snake/reptile guys or folks who feed whole prey model to their cats and dogs and you have it labelled for animal use only... definitely worth looking into. :) I'm told that I am extremely reasonable ($2/lb/live weight) but there are still folks wanting even more of a deal.... I just don't deal with those ones anymore. I know folks who can get $4/lb/live weight for their rabbits selling this way but I can't squeeze that out of the folks here.

If you have a raptor rescue up your way you could ask them if they'd like to buy some of your young stock as well.

Dealing with birds.... haven't a clue. I would think it'd be neat to be able to dye or use neat coloured feathers for indian headbands, babbles, I've seen jewelry made using feathers so there's possibilities there.
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Re: Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#9  Unread postby a7736100 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:20 pm


I'm guessing organic eggs would be your best bet.

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Re: Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Truckinguy » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:49 am


I've been thinking of getting those beetles that eat flesh for cleaning off rabbit and chicken skulls. Also I shoot the rabbits in the head wkth a pellet gun so the skulls would likely be damaged and I can't bring myself to do other alternative ways of dispatching. I was going to do rabbit feet keychains but couldn't find the bell caps that go over the end of the foot to attach the chain. I think I know most of what I need to do to get things working, it's just a matter of getting past my negative issues and start making things happen.

Right now I have one 50lb feed bag full of a variety of chicken feathers and three bags full of turkey feathers that all need cleaning. I have a mixed flock of about seven or eight different breeds of chickens and the feathers are a wide variety of colors, black, white, brown, black/white, black/brown, white/brown and all shapes and sizes. I wonder if crafters would be interested in them. The turkey feathers are from the bronze turkeys that I had this summer and are a beautiful brownish color with blue or bronze metallic tips. I could use them to make dream catchers.

I have tanned a few rabbit furs over the years and they turn out pretty good but I think you can buy rabbit furs from China for dirt cheap although if they were marketed as Canadian made and hand tanned some people might be interested.

Thanks for the replies, you've given me a lot to think about.

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Re: Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#11  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:20 am


Knacker wrote:One of the families I met at this past weekends show breed "show" rabbits and sell all their non-keepers to a company that makes dog food. They get over $3/lb.


Whoa!!! Live weight? I would jump all over that!

Truckinguy wrote:I shoot the rabbits in the head with a pellet gun


When I dispatch with a gun I place the barrel directly where the spine meets the skull and aim toward the mouth. I have never cleaned a skull either, but there would probably not be a lot of visible damage with that trajectory.

Truckinguy wrote:I was going to do rabbit feet keychains but couldn't find the bell caps that go over the end of the foot to attach the chain.


I have seen jingle bells used for this purpose- you just open them up and then recrimp them when you put them on the foot. I also saw some made with shotgun shells (just the metal portion) as caps.
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Re: Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#12  Unread postby Truckinguy » Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:10 am


MamaSheepdog wrote:
Knacker wrote:One of the families I met at this past weekends show breed "show" rabbits and sell all their non-keepers to a company that makes dog food. They get over $3/lb.


Whoa!!! Live weight? I would jump all over that!

Truckinguy wrote:I shoot the rabbits in the head with a pellet gun


When I dispatch with a gun I place the barrel directly where the spine meets the skull and aim toward the mouth. I have never cleaned a skull either, but there would probably not be a lot of visible damage with that trajectory.

Truckinguy wrote:I was going to do rabbit feet keychains but couldn't find the bell caps that go over the end of the foot to attach the chain.


I have seen jingle bells used for this purpose- you just open them up and then recrimp them when you put them on the foot. I also saw some made with shotgun shells (just the metal portion) as caps.


Thanks, those are great ideas. Maybe if I put my innovative thinking cap on and think outside the box a bit I might come up with some ideas.

It seems there is a growing movement for people to keep a couple chickens at home for eggs so I thought I could build a chicken tractor and see if there was any interest in that. There seems to be a real surge in people starting to grow their own food so ideas along that line might really start to be profitable.

What really concerns me is the Animal Rights movement and reading some of the horror stories online about people having their animals taken from them and the hate messages I've read directed to those who raise and process their own animals, specially rabbits. Not sure if I really want to dip my toe in that water. I keep thinking it would be best to keep my animals to myself and only deal with friends and family and make money in other, non agricultural ways.

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Re: Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#13  Unread postby Rainey » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:28 am


Have you thought about mushrooms? So far I haven't heard of any groups formed to protect their rights.

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Re: Selling Farm Related Products

Post Number:#14  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:10 pm


I had chickens, and sold free range eggs, I also had a cow and sold milk and cheese, -
For labor investment, $ overhead, vs. profit, the chickens were by far the best investment. At $3.75 / dozen, the hens, averaged over $ / week per bird profit, [after deducting overhead]. For 250 hens, about 1 hr/ day labor. [feeding ,cleaning, gathering eggs, washing [in a modified dishwasher] , putting eggs in cartons ] we sold at a farmers market.
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