Poultry Processing Resources


NC farmers are permitted to conduct on-farm processing of poultry of their own raising up to 1,000 poultry/year or greater than 1,000 but no more than 20,000 poultry/year if sold within state lines without mandatory daily inspection, if they meet the respective criteria for the exemption stated in NCDA&CS MPID NOTICE 5-18 dated 12-3-2018 1,000 Poultry Exemption Requirements or the MPID Notice 6-18 dated 12-3-18  20,000 Poultry Exemption Requirement

Poultry products produced under exemption can only be sold by the Poultry Exempt Operator directly to the end consumers (retail sales) and may only be sold within the State of North Carolina. Poultry exempt operators are not allowed to put special claims (i.e. pasture-raised, natural, etc.) on their exempt poultry products because slaughter is occurring on their own farm rather than in state- or federally-inspected facilities.

If you are interested in operating under the On-Farm Poultry Exemption, please contact NCDA&CS Meat and Poultry Inspection Division at (919) 707-3180.  They will schedule a representative to visit your farm for exemption approval assuming you meet the criteria outlined in MPID Notice 5-18.


Due to the closure of the only small poultry processing facility in North Carolina in fall of 2017, NCDA MPID State Director has granted “special exemptions” to poultry exempt operators, allowing them to slaughter or process other persons’ poultry, provided all other provisions of MPID Notice 6-18 are followed.  Labeling Requirements for Special Exemption for On-Farm Poultry Processing can be viewed here. Requests for this exemption should be made to NCDA MPID Director in written form. 

View a list of operators approved to process under “Special Exemption” here.  Be sure to select the appropriate year on the tab to see the current list of operators and their contact information. If you are or know of a special exempt poultry operator not on the list, please email ncchoices_info@ncsu.edu with additional information.

View a list of nearest out-of-state USDA poultry processing plants here.

Find Mobile Processing Equipment or a Mobile Processing Unit
NC Choices maintains a list of mobile processing units as well as MPU equipment for rent here. Be sure to select the appropriate tab (MPUs for rent). If you have mobile processing equipment you would like to add to this list, please email ncchoices_info@ncsu.edu.

Additional processing and best practices resources

An overview of mobile unit case studies (mobile slaughter units, or MSUs, and mobile poultry processing units, MPPUs) is available from Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network here. Their full poultry resource page including case studies, sample budgets, sample building plans, and other information is available here.

Note of Disclaimer: All efforts were made to provide accurate and precise information pertaining to the laws and regulations surrounding the sale and processing of poultry and of red meats in NC. Due to the changing nature of the regulatory system, it is important to verify the accuracy of these statements with the responsible regulatory agency, NC Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry Inspection Division.