Poultry FAQ

What exemptions to the Poultry Laws and Regulations does Mississippi allow?
Producers may apply for a 1,000 bird or 20,000 bird exemption within the state of MS.

What are the requirements of the 1,000-bird exemption?
A producer may slaughter no more than 1,000 healthy birds of his/her own raising per calendar year. The grower must keep accurate records and label the meat according to regulations. These birds can be sold without inspection following the home delivery method described below (or sold on-farm).

What are the requirements of the 20,000-bird exemption?
A producer may slaughter no more than 20,000 healthy birds of his/her own raising per calendar year. In addition to abiding by the same regulations as the 1,000-bird exemption a grower must follow certain building and sanitation requirements as described in the regulations.

How can I sell my poultry to consumers?
Poultry sold under these exemptions must be preordered by the customer and picked up on the farm or delivered to the customer via home delivery.

What is the definition of home delivery?
“Home Delivery” means delivery by the grower to a customer’s home within the state of Mississippi. To facilitate delivery, a customer who preorders poultry may go to another customer’s home to pick up their order, provided the homeowner agrees. Home delivery does NOT include delivery to a customer on public property.

Do I have to build a facility, or can I slaughter and process outside?
You are required to have a building that meets the Poultry Regulations for the 20,000 bird exemption only.

Must exempted poultry be labeled?
Yes, all poultry must be labeled with the following:

  1. “Exempt from Inspection”
  2. The Grower’s Name
  3. The name of the farm, address, and zip code of the farm
  4. Safe Handling Instructions

What kind of records must be kept?
Slaughter records and records documenting the number of poultry purchased and sale of poultry products to customers must be kept by the grower.

Can I sell my processed poultry at farmers markets?
Poultry produced under these exemptions is not allowed to be sold into commerce or at farmer’s market. Poultry sold into commerce or at farmers markets must be inspected during slaughter and processing.

At what temperature should my chicken be kept?
When offered for sale, fresh chicken should be 41 degrees or below; frozen chicken should be frozen throughout.

Do I have to have a refrigerated vehicle?

How can I apply for one of the poultry exemptions?
The application for the 1,000-bird exemption can be found on the MDAC website. To apply for the 20,000-bird exemption, you will need to call our Meat Inspection Division (601) 359-1191 and set up a time to meet about the regulations and fill out the application.

The Laws and Regulations pertaining to meat and poultry can be found on the Meat Inspection Division website: