Humane Chicken Processessing and Our Air Chill System
The purpose of the following is two-part. First, we want to show people who purchase from us how we processes their chickens -- for those people who are really interested and concerned about where their food comes from, this shows it is prepared and how the animals are treated. Second, for people who are interesting in processing their own chickens in a humane manner, this will provide instructions on how to do that, and how to clean and package your chickens.
We received a SARE grant to design and develop an Air Chill System that can be built by a small farm for under $1,000.00. After working with the idea and visiting such notable farms a Polyface Farm we have decided that not only is the system too expensive, is too much work to build, and is not needed for small on-farm processing. For example, finding someone to construct the stainless steel racks is not only difficult but the cost of the racks is not realistic, $75.00 per rack with each fridge needing 5 racks. Having a number of refrigerators (we use 3) to cool the birds after the water chill tank is good enough.
The most important thing is to get the birds very clean before they go into the water chill and then changing the water in the tub or tank halfway through the processing.
Our processing system is demonstrated here in three parts. The first part is cutting, followed by cleaning, and finally bagging.
The description and pictures that follow are VERY graphic and show step by step how we process our birds now and what we thought would be a good air chill system. DO NOT proceed if you do not wish to see a chicken be killed, eviscerated, and bagged.
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