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Buying Farm Animals

Wondering if anyone knows of a farm where I can purchse an entire living animal (chicken, pig, etc) and essentailly pay for it to be raised there (so I can visit it/take pictures) and when it is time to "harvest" the meat, they do what they do and I get all the meat.

As I re-read it sounds just awful, but this is an honest post.

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  1. i'd check and see if there are any CSA's around. They may know of someone that does raise livestock in this manner. If you have a local farmer that raises the animal that you want, he may be willing to raise it for you etc...

    1. If you have a county fair, the animals raised by 4H clubs from local High Schools are usually auctioned off.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cathy

        Here's a recent thread about buying at a local 4-H and FFA auction.

        1. re: Cathy

          Also, in California's Russian River Valley area, Slow Food has partnered with the local 4-H clubs to raise heritage turkeys. That might be an avenue to pursue in the OP's neighborhood.

        2. I know of many auctions where you can buy 1 animal or an entire herd but I've never heard of anyone paying to have someone raise an animal for them.

          I know of farmers that will sell you a live animal and have it slaughtered for you, and you can buy the carcass at a packing house but Ive never heard of what you're requesting.

          1. I buy one goat a year. The kids get to name it and play with it for a few months. Then when we are ready to "harvest", the kids follow daddy outside, we play with it one final time, then they laugh and clap while i wack it on the head with a hammer. Good times!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Crispy skin

              This is what OP should look for. A farmer who will set aside , or pigeonhole, an animal for you. Be aware that the animals are raised in groups, and the one you choose as an infant may not turn out, or be the best of the lot. It is exceedingly hard to choose a calf that will become prime.
              Ask at farmers'markets, and be prepared to pay 10-25% above market value for your visiting privilege.

            2. Try www.localhravest.org to find a farm near you. Many will sell a side of beef, or parts of a cow. Does it matter to you if all the parts come from the same animal?

              2 Replies
              1. re: chowser

                OP wants to visit the animal and take pictures etc. im pretty sure this place wont allow you to get that familiar with their livestock.

                1. re: Crispy skin

                  It's not just one place--that's a list of small farms that allow you to buy into parts of it, sell meat on a small scale, visit and milk cows, feed them, etc. There are quite a few a few farms on the list that allow visits, depending on where you live. I'm sure the farms would allow you to take pictures from a distance but if the OP wants a specific pet he/she can then eat, that might be more difficult. But, I think it's probably an option if you want to pay a high enough price. It's all about price. And, really, would the OP notice if the cow were different each visit? Or, that the one the OP came to know wasn't the one on his/her dinnerplate?

              2. Are you willing to travel to Western MD to visit it? My Dad is a beef farmer, he would be happy to do this, but is in Western, MD? And a beef cow is pretty big, you would have to have a chest freezer for all the meat, but he could probably find someone else to take part of the meat and you could choose what cuts you wanted?

                1. Any update on this one? I would love see some pictures and hear some names.

                  1. Visiting and having pictures taken with a chicken are not all that rewarding. Better to get a pig, goat, lamb, of calf. Even a goose: they grow up with individual personalities.

                    1. a lot of good tips,CSAs ,farmers at the green market even chefs
                      Here in the DC area it is doable.So I think it would be in your area.Think an hour or more past the burbs.
                      the 20% premium suggested is reasonable also.
                      Have you spoken to a HALAL butcher or perhaps a Rabbi in an Orthodox community ?I
                      sell live animals to both is this area.Again Boston, is as diverse as here.