The Broiler Biography | Processing

Here we are…at the end. I thought I’d walk everyone through the processing process…aka: the broiler’s last day…

here are the chickens waiting in the crates…Our little helpers for the day Andrew and Travis Salatin (Daniel and Sherri’s little boys)…too cute!
Step one: The chickens go head first into the metal cones. I’ll spare you from the next images (for those of you that are squeamish). After the birds are dead, they go into a scalder to  loosen the feathers, then they are placed in the plucker to remove the feathers.

Here’s my husband, Farmer Bud…Removing the guts…the last step is quality control and then they go into two separate chill tanks before they are bagged and placed in the freezer ready to sell.

There are tons of videos on YouTube if you are interested in learning more about this process and seeing it all in action!

Here is a recap of all of the 8 weeks of these broilers’ lives…

I hope this series has been informative thus far and has provided a full picture of how our broilers are raised!

Happy Monday!

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About Jill Powers

Jill Powers

8 Responses to The Broiler Biography | Processing

  1. Chris Ramsey says:

    My broilers see to be a lot larger than yours. I usually butcher them at 10 weeks thoough. What are the pros/consat butchering them at 8 weeks instead of a little later for more weight?


    • Chris I was thinking the same thing. Ours usually have full feathers around 6-7 weeks as well. It could be a breed thing, although we are using Cornish Cross and it looks like they are as well.

  2. Great series. I am processing about 13,000 pastured broilers a year a mobile processing unit I built. I love seeing other peoples equipment and was looking at your pictures of the evisceration tables and other equipment. Any way you could give a picture by picture look at the process and equipment. I’m an equipment geek. Thanks and great job.
    Pat’s Pastured

  3. Jesse Yarnell says:

    what is inside those water hoses to make them hold a shape? what a great idea. thanks, great photos.

  4. Tonya Everett says:

    Such a great biography series! Thank you for documenting this! And fabulous pictures!

  5. Leilani says:

    Great series and photos of your processing area.

  6. Susan Engle says:

    A question on the water run-off….Where does it go? We visited the farm this month and that question didn’t come up until we left the farm. Where does all the water go while you are processing the chickens. Is it confined to stay away from the creek and the pond that was near-by?

  7. Caleb Kitson says:

    Quick question. How do you process your birds legally? I raised 50 broilers last year on pasture, and processed and sold them discretely. However, in Michigan, my home State, it is not lawful to process meat on the farm, and sell it from the farm. It must either be processed at a USDA licensed facility, or “custom slaughtered”, meaning the customer purchases the live animal and pays to have it processed on an individual basis. This sort of arrangement hardly lends itself toward profitability. My hope for the future is to continue raising livestock (I raise sheep and egg layers right now, and am getting into the Emu business), but with my focus being on producing Emu oil as a dietary supplement and an alternative to many pharmaceuticals, I have an even greater conundrum. The meat is extremely lean and high and iron, making it beneficial for people with high cholesterol, diabetes, or just a need for healthy red meat, however, a processing facility would not remove and store the fat for oil, the feathers for clothing, fly-fishing flies, etc, and the leather products. The best way for me to process my birds is to do it myself, at my farm. I have hopes to market the meat to my community and local restaurants, but I can not determine how this would be feasible. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!