Milford farm opens processing facility for chickens, turkeys
“We raise 3,000 meat birds throughout the season plus 500 turkeys. We have fresh products every week,” said Kristen Bennett of Lull Farm.
“We can’t have our animals slaughtered in Massachusetts, then sold retail in New Hampshire, so we decided to open our own slaughterhouse,” said Bennett.
Lull Farm’s facility is called Granite State Poultry and Processing and is run by Lionel Lavoie and Jennifer Bourlier.
“We started because there are so many people that want to raise backyard chickens. We raise them for our families. … Then there is no one around to process, so we started this,” said Bourlier.
“We talked to a USDA investigator who told us this area could handle two or three slaughterhouses because there are so many people who need them,” said Bourlier.
“People raise their own chickens, and we hand them back a bird properly processed and wrapped ready for the freezer for $4.50. We want to make it affordable for people to raise their own food,” said Bourlier.
“People come in and say, ‘I can’t believe how clean the facility is.’ Indoors we use organic chemicals that take bacteria away while the birds are chilling,” said Bourlier.
What concerns Bourlier and Lavoie is the recent passage of House Bill 608, which would allow farmers working under a USDA exemption to process poultry on their own farm without USDA inspection but still able to sell a maximum 1,000 birds a year to restaurants.