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Small-Scale Poultry Processing

by 5m Editor
10 June 2003, at 12:00am

By Anne Fanatico, NCAT Agriculture Specialist - This article is from the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and looks at how a growing number of small producers are raising poultry outdoors on pasture, processing the birds on-farm, and selling the meat directly to customers at the farm or at a farmers market.

Small-Scale Poultry Processing - By Anne Fanatico, NCAT Agriculture Specialist - This article is from the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and looks at how a growing number of small producers are raising poultry outdoors on pasture, processing the birds on-farm, and selling the meat directly to customers at the farm or at a farmers market.

Many states allow up to 1,000 birds to be processed on a farm each year and sold directly to consumers with no inspection. Some of these small producers are going further-building government-licensed processing plants to supply regional or niche markets.

Specialty "religious kill" is often done in small plants. "Kosher" is the term for Jewish slaughter and "halaal" for Muslim slaughter.

Access to processing is a critical issue for small producers. Consolidation in the meat processing industry has left very few small plants that will do custom poultry processing. (Large plants generally don.t process for small producers; they can't keep track of a small batch of birds and can't make money on small volume orders.)

This publication covers small-scale processing, both onfarm and in small plants. Relevant information on large-scale processing is also included for comparison, to provide context, and because small processors need to have some understanding of how large-scale processing works.

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Table 1. Comparison of types of processing
  • Pre-slaughter
  • Immobilizing, Killing, and Bleeding
  • Feather Removal
  • Table 2. Scalding
  • Removal of Head, Oil Glands, and Feet
  • Evisceration
  • Washing the Carcass
  • Chilling
  • Cut-up, Deboning, and Further Processing
  • Aging
  • Packaging
  • Storage
  • Delivery and Distribution
  • Clean-up
  • Waste Management
  • Table 3. Processing Plant Waste Loads per 1000 Chickens
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Processing Diverse Species
  • Batch vs. Continuous Processing
  • Processing Rate
  • Processing Setup
  • Economics
  • Resources
  • References
  • Appendix A. South Central New York RC&D MPU Layout
  • Appendix B. Kentucky MPU Layout
  • Appendix C. Small Plant Work Areas and Design

Further Information

To read the full report, including tables, please click here.

Source: National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) - May 2003