Bottle Neck.. find them now!


This Afternoon my phone beeped at me.. its my old butcher shop, the one that I have used for years.. it burned down and was rebuilt, I called in with 4 months like normal to book my lambs in the fall of 2020 for butcher and was told no.. they were taking bookings for Late Jan and Feb 2020 then.

So the phone beeped at me, and I look at it.. they were called to ask me if I wanted to book my “UNBORN” lambs in for my regular butcher spots in sept and what week and number did I want.. Its still DEC 2020 peaple and I am to be picking my butcher dates today?

9 months.. 9 months in advance.. before they are born and I know how many are twins, did I get a single, did I get set of 3.. do want to send out a hoggot or keep back the pick ewe lamb as a replacement to grow out?

Do you have any idea what can all go wrong in 9 months, as a livestock producer, i do and I think its udderly stupid to be booking right now..

And I am guess I am one of the “LUCKY” ones as I am on the regular list that is getting the calls now.. heaven help those folks that pick up some lambs to grow out or start a new flock that think they can call and get in.. As I found out the hard way when I called around this year, None of them are taking new clients.. they are just trying to meet the needs of their current clients.

When my beef order arrived they told me that while they were picking up their order, they had to book the butcher dates at that time for their beef for 2021.

Is your area bottlenecking in regards to locally being able to get your livestock in to be butchered for farm gate sales or even personal use? Just give general info, country, province or state and what is happeing in your area?

In my case, ottawa valley area, ontario, Canada.. I booked the spots.. and hope I can fill them..

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18 Responses to Bottle Neck.. find them now!

  1. It is crazy.
    We do most of our butchering ourselves, but each year have a few things processed by the butcher. We generally use two different butchers – one for our hunting (deer/elk) and one for farm animals. But this last year neither could do any and we called around and couldn’t find anyone with availability, so we did them all ourselves. Planning to just do it all ourselves next year as well.
    We are in Colorado, USA.

    • thanks for the overview, yes we just did all our own this year as well but I can’t do farm gate sales on home butchered..

      wow, not even for the wild game.. did you find like I did that so many hunted this year?

      • We did not find that more people hunted this year that we know of. However, our hunting draw deadline is the first week of April in our area, so I don’t think people had truly soaked in all that was going on by that point. We expect it to be higher this year.
        But, I think the ones who did draw were more committed to being sure they filled their tag due to beef shortages, versus other years where they might have been ok with not filling the tag because they figured they could just buy meat if they needed to. We did have people say to us “I HAVE to fill my tag this year.” So they went out more and really made sure to fill their tag. That is why I think the butcher was so backed up. It couldn’t have been staff at 50% because our wild game butcher is just him, his wife, and his teenage son, so he wouldn’t have had to go to 50% workforce because they all live together.

      • ah, got it.. thank you for the overview.. makes sence for sure.

  2. arlynch1475 says:

    So here in the American midwest, we’re absolutely seeing bottlenecks. Most of our grocery shelves are (only) recently fully stocked but household/hardware/ automotive items are still scant. Services…..if you need a haircut with a good stylist or an appointment with a doctor, dentist, contractor or plumber….expect to wait. Partially due to employee shortage and partially due to the aforementioned lack of hardware items. It’s weird. My family has already started shopping for items that we anticipate needing next summer (diatomaceous earth, pool filters, row covers) and have started shopping for a photographer for Isaac’s senior pictures (💔💔💔how can he be so grown already?!)

  3. valbjerke says:

    We’re in the same boat here as far as butchering….we’re booking now for slaughter dates next July. Mind you – they’ve always been backlogged – but this year was even worse. In March they were scheduling beef for this coming January. A LOT of new to livestock rearing people were completely caught off guard. All through fall the local FB page was inundated with posts from people scrambling to find anyone who would come butcher.

  4. Silver says:

    Gosh what a predicament to be in. I hope you’ll be able to fill the bookings you have made successfully. If it turns out you have overbooked, could you ‘give’ one of your slots to a neighbour who needs something doing?

    • With planning yes.. so if I have 8 lambs but slots of 30, I can buy 2 lambs from someone else’s flock, hold them for 31 days before my butcher date and tag them with my flock tag and send them in.. Each farmer and each sheep flock is registered and in order to send them in for butcher they need to have my tag on them, I can buy from a different farm and they will come in with their tag on the farm they were born on and we have to transfer them in the system.. but you have to quarintine the livestock for 30 days before you can butcher them or sell them on or send them for butcher with your own tag.. sorry that was so long winded.. so yes but will need to plan for it 🙂

      • Silver says:

        No I understand, it’s very strict in Norway as well. If you are butchering to sell traceability is key – if you are only butchering for your own household then you can do it at home, but if you want to sell it then you have to do it according to the regulations.

      • yup, we never had to do so but when we signed the last round of trade for EU we had to match up.. it added so much costs to the farmer..

  5. WolfSong says:

    It’s the same in Manitoba.
    Book now, pray you’ve got something to go in when it’s time…
    But…I’m doing 95% poultry from here on out for farm gate sales.
    Everything else, we’ll butcher on farm for ourselves.
    Thankfully, I’m “allowed” (insert massive eye roll here) to butcher on farm, label as “uninspected” and sell whole poultry.
    Seeing as how that aligns with my moral stance on meat animals, I’m good with that.
    But I think the govt needs to get on board with more on farm slaughter and mobile abattoirs, as opposed to everything having to be taken somewhere central for kill, cut and wrap.

  6. Kathleen says:

    We are having the same issues here in South Stormont. I called to book our wiener pigs when we picked them up in the spring, for fall processing. We are booked for mid January. Same thing for our meat birds that we free range and they grow slower because they are free ranged. We had to process them ourselves as I could not keep them alive until the butcher had a date for them. So now we have lots of chickens to eat because it is illegal for me to sell them or even give them away as they are not inspected.

    • I hear you.. we had to do lamb butchering here on the farm as well.. so no lamb gate sales this year.. I finally got told i could take three of the hoggot (yearlings in) and I was like.. they are expecting and I am not butchering clearly expecting females that are due in the next 4 to 6 weeks.. now if any do not have live lambs that I do not want as a milker, I might then consider butcher raither then carry but no I have done most of them at this point..

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