Pastured Meatbird Processing Funding for this presentation was provided by USDA's Outreach and Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (OASDFR) program (Project number 2009-00705), part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Risk Management Agency (Award # 11-IE-53102-037) Broiler Processing Two options Federal or State Inspected plants On-farm under Federal Exemption
Legal in about half the states, including California Plan BEFORE Starting Few processors in the US left Booking far in advance Can be an expensive on-farm investment Ask local growers for solutions Regulations
On-Farm Processing States can (and do) modify Some states no exemption! Can only sell inside state 1,000 & 20,000 Bird Limits Can sell direct to consumer On farm Off farm Farmers Markets
At consumers home State or Federal Processing USDA inspected = Federal
USDA can cross state lines No bird limits Can sell anywhere Very few operating Scheduling difficulties Can be cost prohibitive No quality control It is illegal to sell birds processed by custom processors! On Farm Processing at a Glance Blue allowed on farm w/ PPIA
Red on farm w/ additional state regs Grey not allowed unless inspected Preparing for Harvest Typically 7-12 wks Depends on variety Feed is withheld 8-12 hours On farm vs. Off farm Poultry Crates Needed? Gentle Handling
Bruising = less $$$ Crating density Processing Steps & Equipment Killing Killing Cones Loosening Feathers Scalder Feather Removal
Plucker Evisceration Tables and Sinks Chilling Cooling Tank/Cooler Bagging Special shrink-wrap bags
Processing Killing First step in processing Birds restrained in killing cones Relaxed by Restraint Upside down Throat is cut, severing arteries Windpipe is left intact Birds heart pumps most of the blood out Peaceful death (as possible) from blood loss
Scalding Scalding dunking birds in hot water Scalding loosens the birds feathers Typically gas fired Scald temp. & time for broilers: ~ 145 F for around 1 minutes Immediately after bleed out! Temperature is important Too hot = partly cooking the bird Too cold = poor feather removal Plucking
Hand plucking is VERY (!) labor intensive Automatic pluckers are the standard Can cleanly pluck 4-5 birds in 20 seconds! Evisceration Head & Feet Removal Oil Sack Removal Organ Removal
Cut below breast Remove innards Cut around vent Save liver, heart, & gizzard Crop & Esophagus Removal Carcass Cool-Off
Regulated by Law for Safety Under 40 F with in 4 hours Inhibits bacteria growth Slows spoilage Lengthens shelf-life Usually done in a chill tank 1 - 2 lbs ice per bird Filled with cool water Packaging & Storage Bag birds after chilling Remove air from bags
Avoid freezer burn Shrink Wrap bags attractive & effective Clean fresh birds can stay good a week Frozen birds stay good for around a year Chicken freezes around 28 F Make sure you have freezer/fridge space! Shop to Processing Shed Farm processes 10,000 chickens/yr Mobile Processing Units (MPU)
Resources Organizations ATTRA the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service http://www.attra.org American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA) http://www.apppa.org/ Magazines GRIT! APPPA Magazine ATTRA Publications Pastured Poultry Nutrition Meat Chicken Breeds for Pastured Production
Small Scale Poultry Processing Books APPPA. 2006. Raising Poultry on Pasture Ten Years of Success. 246 p. Resources Poultry Products Inspection Act Exemption http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oppde/rdad/fsisnotices/poultry_slaughter_exemption_0406.pdf Processing Equipment Featherman Equipment Company - http://www.featherman.net/ Poultry Man LLC - http://www.pasafarming.org/resource/PoultryMan.pdf Poultry Shrink Bags Cornerstone Farm Ventures - http://www.cornerstone-farm.com/
Poultry Labels and Design Growers Discount Labels - http://www.growersdiscountlabels.com/
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