Specialty and Small-Scale Poultry Processing

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Specialty and Small-Scale Poultry Processing. Types of processing On-farm processing Mobile Processing Units (MPUs) Small plants (I.e. pilot plant) Large plants. Activities required for ready-to-cook poultry: Pre-slaughter: catching and transport Immobilization, kill, and bleed - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Specialty and Small-Scale Poultry Processing

  • Specialty and Small-Scale Poultry Processing

  • Types of processing

    On-farm processing Mobile Processing Units (MPUs)

    Small plants (I.e. pilot plant)

    Large plants

  • Sheet1

    Types of Poultry Processing:


    SizeOutdoor or shed facility2,000 to 3,000 sq. ft.150,000 sq. ft.

    EquipmentManualManual/MechanicalFully automated

    CostLess than $1,000Less than $400,000$25,000,000


    Capacity50-100 birds per day500-5,000 birds per day250,000 birds per day

    OperationSeasonal; 8 estimated processing days per yearSeasonal or year-round; 20 estimated processing days per yearYear-round; process daily

    MarketingProduct sold fresh, sometimes frozen; whole birdsFresh and frozen, whole and partsMainly cut-up, sold fresh, further-processed

    CommentsIndependent operation; labor-intensive; usually non-inspectedIndependent or part of a collaborative groupPart of an integrated operation including grow-out, processing, and marketing



  • Activities required for ready-to-cook poultry:

    Pre-slaughter: catching and transportImmobilization, kill, and bleedFeather removal: scalding and pickingEviscerationChillingPackaging

  • Feed withdrawalCatchingLoadingTransport

  • Immobilize/stunKillBleed

  • Types of scalding equipment:

    Homemade scalders and dunkersStockpotUsed electric or propane water heatersVery labor intensive

    Scalder bath

    Multi-stage scaldersOverflowTemperature controlPathogen control

  • Scalding 101


    October 29, 2002

    page 2

    Types of Scald




    Very hard


    30-60 sec




    30-75 sec

    Remove outer skin





    90-120 sec

    Leaves skin and color

  • Types of pickers

    Homemade pickersUsed washing machinesPlastic 55-gallon drums

    Small pickersDrumTub

    In-line pickers

  • Drum pickerTubpickerTub picker

  • Remove head, oil glands, and feet

  • Eviscerate

  • Evisceration

    Guts remain attached to bird for inspection

    Avoid tearing gut and causing microbial

    Harvest giblets

    Wash carcass

    Specialty eviscerationNew York dressed

  • Chilling

    Lower temperature of carcass

    Broilers(4-lb)40F within 4 hours

    (4-8 lbs)40F within 6 hours

    Turkeys(greater than8 lbs)40F within 8 hours

  • Rule of thumb:One pound of ice per pound of meat

    Used dairy equipment

  • Chilling: Ice bath Static

  • Pre-chilling Prevents cold shorteningGradual temperature reduction

    Water uptake

    8-12% water in carcass

  • Large chillersCounter currentOverflowAir BubblesPaddles or rakes32F45 minutes

    Pre-chiller55-60F15 minutes

  • Air chillSoft scaldTemperature 20-35FTakes longer: 2 hoursNo water uptake/less microbial contaminationMore expensive equipment, space, utilitiesLess waterHomemade air chill?

  • Yield67% for broilers without giblets

    Whole birdsFurther processedCut-upPartsDebonedSizing and portioningFormedWhole (deli loaves)Comminuted (nuggets)Emulsified (hot dogs)Curing and smokingBrining

  • Hand deboning

  • Aging

    Tenderness:Poultry meat must age at least 4 hours before eating or freezingRigor mortis

    Stress before slaughter can lead to dark, dry meat

  • Packaging:

    On-farm: bags, shrink bagsShelf life: 6 days

    Small plants: shrink bags, vacuum packing, totesShelf life: up to 12 days (vacuum)

    Large plants: tray packs, bulk ice packsShelf life: 21 days (crust-frozen tray pack)7-28 days (bulk, depending on modified atmosphere)

  • Storage:Home refrigerators or freezers

    Freezing extends shelf life to 6-12 months

    Rate of freezing:Slow freezing (3-72 hours): large ice crystals that damage cells

    Fast freezing (30 minutes): small ice crystals

  • Methods of freezing:

    Still air (slow) used by home freezers

    Blast freezing (fast)

    Bone darkening seen in young chickens after freezing

  • Clean up

    On-farm: hoses

    Plants: pressure washers.

  • Waste:Offal, feathers, blood

    Wastewater Treatment:Screen out big chunksRemove small particles in waterFat trapDissolved air flotationBreak down organic matterAerobic lagoonsAnaerobic lagoonsTrickling filtersLand application


  • Processing diverse species

    Broilers, Cornish game hens, stewing hens, ducks, geese,squab, turkeys

    Multispecies processing:RabbitsRed meat and poultry in the same plant

  • Putting It All Together:

    Batch vs continous processing

    Processing rate:Working alone with minimal equipment:6 birds per person per hour

    Experienced processor with equipment handling at least4 birds at a time:15 birds per person per hour

  • On-farm processing set-ups:Less than $1000

  • Less than $15,000

  • Mobile ProcessingUnits (MPU):

    A shared resource


  • 1Kentucky MPU - $70,000

  • Small PlantEstablishment$100,000-$400,000

  • Small Plants

    Usually enclosed building

    Separate areas for killing and eviscerationKeep edible product from coming in contactwith inedible.

    GMPSOPSSOPHACCPCode of Federal Regulations