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Not Sure Where To Start

Posted by Jim McLaughlin on

There are just a few basic steps you need to take to set up your poultry processing plant.

The size equipment you choose has to do with the volume of poultry you want to process in an hour, day, week or even year. First consider product flow, the process through which the bird travels from live to chilled. You want to make as few steps as you can between each process. Time is money and the less steps you have to take will save you not only money but energy.

Next you need a container (poultry transport coop) to transport live birds. You will need one for every 10-12 birds.

A bird restraint system comes next. You need a way to control the bird while it is bleeding out. The most common way is with a killing cone or funnel. They are cone shaped containers that restrain the bird while it is dying. Another more expensive option is a stun knife.

Scalding the bird comes next and is the process that loosens the feather follicle allowing the feathers to come out easier. There are a number of different types available. The cheapest to purchase but possibly the most expensive to operate is an electrical scalder. Electricity is the most inefficient way to heat water, but we do offer a small home scalder that operates on either 110V or 220V AC power. The bigger scalder’s operate on propane gas. Propane is more efficient at heating water. We have manual gas scalder’s as well as semi-automatic scalder’s. Even gas scalder’s do need electricity as well to operate the gas valves and thermostats that control the water temp.

Step three is picking, once the birds are scalded they go to the plucker. There are pickers that do 1 bird at a time and machines that will do 3-15 birds at a time. They come in 110V and 220V for the 10 bird and up sizes.

Eviscerating can be done either on a table which is the more popular way or on shackles which will be the required method in the future. Basically you need a washable table large enough for the number of operators you have doing the eviscerating.

And last you need a method to chill the birds, USDA requires that you get the internal temperature of the bird below 40°F within four hours. The reason is to reduce bacteria growth for safety and to prolong shelf life. The easiest method is to use an ice water bath. A food grade container is necessary to hold the number of birds you will be processing at one time to allow proper chilling.

Lastly is packaging and storage. We recommend shrink bags as they reduce much of the air that causes freezer burn and they provide a much nicer presentation to your customers.

So those are the basic steps you need to process poultry. On the left side of the webpage you will see a menu that has the various steps broken down so you can go from step to step and pick the equipment you need. As always please feel free to call us with questions, remember the only stupid question is the one not asked!


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