From picture of man holding processed chicken

Updated: June 21, 2022
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Many people are interested in processing their own birds for home use or for resale. Please be sure to follow proper MDA guidelines for processing meat birds and be aware of regulations for selling meat from your farm or in markets.

Poultry and Rabbit Program

Federal law allows the slaughter/processing for intrastate sale of rabbits and 20,000 poultry of a producer's own production annually without continuous inspection by USDA/FSIS. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s regulations do not consider rabbits and poultry slaughtered under these exemptions to be an approved source so they can only be sold directly to consumers on the farm.

Producers that participate in Maryland's new voluntary program and receive certification will be considered an approved source by DHMH and can sell anywhere intrastate (restaurants, retailers, farmer’s markets). Both parts and whole poultry and rabbits certified by this program are allowed to be sold. Meat cannot be ground.

The program requires: one person from each facility to attend MDA training, follow basic requirements of the program and access by MDA to conduct inspections. Producers that are not following the requirements at time of inspection will be notified of the non compliances, given time to make corrections, and subject to a follow-up inspection by MDA. Product that is not in compliance may be retained and disposal required if adulterated or corrections cannot be made. Continued failure to meet the basic requirements or denial of access to MDA for inspection will be grounds for certification revocation. Participation in this program does not guarantee compliance with other federal, state or local requirements (ex. Zoning, Environmental).

If you are interested in receiving information about the next training sessions, please provide your name, email address and county in which you reside to Molly Gillingham at​

Molly Gillingham​
Program Manager
Food Quality Assurance
Telephone: 410-841-5769

How to Butcher a Chicken - the Prairie Homestead

How to Butcher a Chicken - the Prairie Homestead

This is a great resource with videos and step-by-step instructions on how to process a chicken.