We processed our last batch of chickens this past weekend. Our broilers were exactly eight weeks and four days old on processing day. We started early; around 5:00am we filled the scalder with water and got it going so that the water would be hot enough by 7:00am. While the water was heating we had breakfast, drank coffee, set up the rest of the equipment and greeted friends as they arrived to lend us some much appreciated helping hands.
As soon as it was day light, the boys started filling crates with chickens and we were ready to begin.
Here is a picture of my husband holding one of the birds before it went into a kill cone.
Broiler chicken getting ready to go into the kill cone.
All of our equipment is from The Featherman company. I will show you our set-up.
I have left out the pictures of the actual processing, but I do feel that is important for everyone to know where their food comes from.
First, the chickens go head first into the kill cones.
Next, the chickens go into the scalder.
The chickens are then placed in the plucker. I tell everyone that wants to raise and process their own chickens that if there is one piece of equipment that you must have; this is it! This machine will have the feathers off of four chickens within thirty seconds.
When they come out of the plucker they go onto the evisceration table.
Once the chickens are eviscerated they go into tubs that hold what we call “pink water” (this is their first soak in water) and then they go into our large chill tank and stay there until we pack them with ice in coolers to “rest” before packaging.
On this day we processed 151 chickens and 10 turkeys. We started at 7:00am and finished at 1:00pm. We had wonderful friends that came out to help us.
If you have any questions about the processing, please ask. And if you are interested in raising and processing your own chickens be sure and visit the Featherman Company’s website. It is a small business right here in the USA!