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Frequently Asked Livestock Questions

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Here are some of our most frequently asked questions (FAQ) for livestock.

1.Can you recommend a Veterinarian, a farrier, an insurance company, a shearer, and/or a list of equipment available for rent for my livestock/horses?

A: Visit to access a directory. Contact April Bowman, or 336-593-8179 to have your name added, edited, or removed from the list.

2. What livestock species should I raise?

A:  YOU and your “tribe” have to answer that question. What types of animals do you enjoy? How much land do you have? What is your market? Here is a link to a great hand-out to help you decide what animals might work best for the amount of land that you have.

3. Do I need my meat handler’s license?

A:  If you plan to handle any meat, then yes, you do. Call the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 919-707-3180 to request an inspection of your freezer.

You may find it helpful to read their Frequently Asked Questions before calling

4. Are there grants to help me start farming?

A: There are very few grants to help you start farming. There are a few to help you expand an existing farm operation. This article, Are There Grants for Farmers?, sums it up nicely.

Here is a link to Government Funds for Farming and Information about Farm Numbers 

Carolina Farm Stewards lists financial resources.

5. Do I need a farm number/how do I get one?


6. What is present-use value (PUV)/how can I reduce my property taxes on my farm?

A: The basics from NC State Farm Law

The program guide from the NC Department of Revenue.

Stokes County property owners may call 336-593-2811 Ext. 1617.

7. Where can I get my chickens processed?

A: We have a Mobile Poultry Processing Unit that you can rent for a small fee if you’re interested in processing them yourself
Find a list of on-farm poultry processors

8. Can I sell eggs directly to consumers from my home?

A: Farmers can sell less than 30 dozen eggs per week from their homes, but the carton should be labeled with the farmer’s name, address, and the words “ungraded eggs”. Learn more at Selling Eggs, Meat, and Poultry in North Carolina: What Farmers Need to Know

9. What equipment do you have for rent? 

A:  We have lots of great tools available to assist you!

  • Soil probe to gather soil for testing  – no rental fee
  • Hay probe to sample hay for testing  – no rental fee
  • Hay temperature/moisture meter  – $5 rental fee
  • Mobile Poultry Processing Unit and tag along trailer  – $75 for up to four days
  • Cattle scales (can be used for smaller livestock as well)  – $20 for up to three days
  • Meat grinder and butcher kit  – $50 for up to three days
  • Thirty Tartar Cattle panels on a tag along trailer  – $35 for up to three days

Visit Rental Equipment for more information

10. Do my livestock need special tags?

A:  All swine must be tagged with a tag recognized by the NC Department of Agriculture in order to be transported on a public road. Visit Livestock – Swine ID to learn more.

All sheep and goats are required to have an official scrapie tag before leaving your farm. Request tags for your flock or herd with this form.

Livestock producers may choose to register with the NC Farm ID Program (attached). Cattle producers may request up to 100 Electronic Identification button tags when a producer either signs up with NC Farm ID or has a Farm ID but needs Electronic Identification buttons, as well as a tag applicator. Email with questions.

Information about the Got to Be NC Livestock tag program may be accessed at NCDA&CS – Livestock or NC Livestock.

11. Help  – I have dead livestock and I don’t know what happened.

A: Your veterinarian can do a necropsy and possibly determine what happened. You can also take food animals to the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Animal Diagnostic Laboratory.

12. I want to process meat rabbits for sale. Can you help me?

A: Learn more about rabbit processing