FAQ & Policies
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the meats you sell in your store local?
The majority of the meat sold in our shop is not considered local. The animals butchered by our mobile slaughter truck are required by law to be labeled not for sale and must go to the owner of that animal and his family. So say for example, we find a farmer whom we really enjoy his beef. We cannot buy the cattle from him, butcher them, cut them up, and sell them in our store. That is against the law. Why is this? It’s because we are not under federal inspection. In order to resell meat of any type, it must be butchered under federal inspection. Federal inspection is different from state inspection in many ways: first being an FSIS (USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service) personnel is present at all times while slaughter operations are taking place. That federal inspector first inspects the animals live (before slaughter) as well as watching the ENTIRE slaughter process and then does a carcass by carcass evaluation. The inspector also does an organ biopsy sent off for testing to ensure no antibiotic residue. Plants under federal inspection are also required to take random ground beef samples regularly and send it off to test for potential bacteria like E.coli, etc. Basically, federal inspection ensures that the plant is maintaining the most stringent of food safety standards. Meat that is processed under this federal inspection can essentially be resold anywhere. It can be wholesale, sold to restaurants, or simply put into the retail market. Any meat you are buying from any retail store has been processed under that classification. And the meat that we sell in our store was slaughtered under this classification.
So you don’t source any of the meat you sell?
The mast majority of our retail store, we did not source any of the meat we re-sell. Most of the meat comes from what would be referred to as commercially processed meat. It comes to us in what we call primals (large un-cut chunks) or even sometimes broken down further. Depending on the product you are purchasing from us, we further cut and process nearly everything in our shop. It is extremely rare that we take something already processed and cut and put it in our case. For example, all of our steaks, pork cuts, and lamb cuts are all cut in house. Our ground beef is ground in house, our sausages are ALL made in house by us. Please not that even grass fed or organic meat can still be produced commercially and on a large scale. We can order in many different lines of grass fed or organic products, please contact us about these specific requests.
How can we find or purchase local meat?
If you are looking for a farm to table type butcher shop, we don’t really know of any places around or in the Butte County area. What we mean by farm to table is that the butcher finds the farmer, buys up his animals, butchers them, cuts them, and puts them directly in his case. Be aware that for these types are products are considered a premium and will sell for a considerably higher price per lb. For example a rib eye we sell may sell for 9.99/lb. whereas a locally sourced rib eye may sell for double that in some cases.
The way we are able to offer local meat to people is by butchering for many farmers in the area who are indeed looking to market their animals, not as individual cuts but by the 1/4, half, or whole animal. How this works is that you get in contact with a farmer/rancher and you purchase the animal from them ON THE HOOF. Since you are now the legal owner of the animal, we can butcher the animal for you or your immediate family. The animal is butchered by us, cut/wrap with your name on it, and you paying the processing bill through us. This is really the only way for us to provide this service for people. And it does require quite the investment because you are buying in bulk rather than just a few cuts.
I’ve read on the internet and watched on documentaries like Food, Inc. that large scale operations are dangerous for the animals and produce an inferior quality of meat? Is this true? Why do you choose to do business with these companies?
We’ve been in this business since 1965 and in that time we’ve had the opportunities to meet and get to know many different large scale farming operations and slaughterhouses. We’ve toured through and seen firsthand MANY different farming and slaughter operations. We wouldn’t be buying up their products to process in our store if we didn’t believe that what they are doing is right. And by right I mean they are producing a humane, quality, and safe product. They are taking the most extreme measures to ensure food safety, they are taking measures to ensure animal safety and continually butchering in the most humane way possible producing a very quality product. The products we sell in our store are the products we feed to our family. Just as we care for the safety and health of our family, we care about your family. And although it may seem counterintuitive, we care about the animals that go into providing us with sustenance. We care about their well being, safety, and ensuring that the companies we do business with are maintaing humane animal handling and butchering practices.
We have written many, many times about commercial operations on our blog and we invite you to read those posts. In an effort to provide you with some sources we know and believe tell the real story of agriculture meat production told by people who are just like you and me, We will share with you some of our favorite links. We follow a long list of farmers and ranchers in social media who are sharing with the rest of us their stories and are willing to answer questions about what goes on in animal production. Please check out the links below, and if you have any other questions, concerns, etc. please contact us.
How long does it take to get an animal processed by you?
Depending on the time of the year and the type of animal, our processing time varies. For sheep and hogs, the fresh meat will usually be done within two to three weeks after butcher date. Once you schedule an appointment to have your animal butchered by us, we will get in contact with you either before or after the butcher date to get your cutting instructions. All of our custom processed animals are cut to your specifications.
For hogs, the cured meat (ham and bacon) usually takes an additional two to three weeks AFTER the hog has been cut. When you come in to pick up your fresh meat, you will pay for the cured meats. The cured meats will need to be picked up at a separate and later time once they are finished going through the curing process.
For beef, the fresh meat will usually be done within three to five weeks after the butcher date. The reasoning for this is that beef go through an aging process anywhere from 14 to 21 or in some cases even 30 days. Your beef carcass will hang in our cooler until we deem it is aged and ready to be cut. The time your carcass will age varies depending on how big the carcass is and how much fat the carcass has on it.
Once your meat is ready to be picked up, we will give you a call to let you know.
I have an animal I’d like to get butchered and processed by you. How do I go about doing that?
Give us a call! Please note that depending on the time of the year, our butcher schedule could be booked up to a month out. This is true especially during the months of May-August which is fair season for us. It is best to give us a call and get on our schedule at least a month in advance.
Please note that every year in June we shut down custom butchering for the entire month. No exceptions. We do this in order to make room to process all the fair animals bought at local fairs. If you can plan for your animals to be finished either before or after, we appreciate it as we cannot accomodate for any butcher appointments in the month of June.
Do you process game animals? What about chickens or turkeys?
We do process and accept: deer, elk, and ducks. Please visit our Game Processing page for specific information about how we require animals or meat to be brought in and the products we offer.
We DO NOT butcher or process chickens or turkeys. The only services we offer for these animals are vacuum packaging.
Any other questions? Feel free to Ask Us
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