Poultry Processing Procedures

(Caution, Graphic Photos)

These are the steps in poultry processing:

  1. Birds taken off food night previous to processing day
  2. Birds calmed and loaded into cones
  3. Slaughter using knife, clearing feathers, cutting jugular – one side only
  4. Scald
  5. Pluck
  6. Initial chill/holding tank
  7. Head & foot removal (save feet for stock)
  8. Clear neck skin, loosen crop/esophagus etc.
  9. Remove neck by breaking and twisting
  10. J-cut cavity (small scissor cut, top of “J” between legs, pinching skin – next, from top of “J” cut down to the vent, around the vent – separating vent from skin and keeping intestines intact)
  11. Sweep inside the cavity, loosening membranes
  12. Scoop out innards with sweeping hand motion and pull crop and esophagus out at the same time
  13. Remove liver, heart, bile sac – retain liver, heart, gizzard, and extra fat
  14. Scoop out lungs
  15. Remove oil sac
  16. Clean and rinse carcass of left over feathers, and innards
  17. Chill in tank until desired temperature and age for 4 hours
  18. Butcher/break down whole chicken and/or package
  19. DONE!!! 😉

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21 thoughts on “Poultry Processing Procedures

  1. Do you do anything with the collected blood, or do you compost or dump it? I don’t really see a lot of blood related American foods, and was wondering if you do something different as someone raring lifestock as a homesteader.

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    1. I thermophilic compost the blood, intestines/vent, head and feathers ~ except for the feathers I collect for my husband’s fly-tying hobby 😉 I save the feet and lungs to go into the doggies food – although many people love chicken feet broth… We eat the liver and gizzard etc…

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      1. They don’t meet their death. That sounds so humane and almost self sacrificial. They gave no choice. They aren’t giving themselves. You are taking their lives against their desire to live, or why immobilize them in the cones?

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      2. Everything meets their death. 99.9% of the time it is not of their choosing. If it were, it would be suicide–which is only something humans do. If you were providing for your own food you would understand. Taking life, whether plant or animal, is a sacred act. But do not believe for a minute that a “natural” death isn’t violent. I have seen natural death over-and-over. It is never humane… I get that you feel passionately about being a vegan or vegetarian. But know with the title of your blog you have much to learn, to experience. That isn’t a bad thing… I appreciate your passion. But your assertion that I do not care about or realize the impact of taking a life (plant or animal) is absolutely, completely inaccurate. It is flat out wrong. Hopefully more writers will inspire you to look outside of your opinion box and challenge your line of thinking. This will make you a better person.

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    1. Everything on our farm: plant, animal, water, air, land, people — all serve a purpose. It is the circle of life. You cannot be alive and choose to not participate in the circle of life. Plants feel. They are living beings. Everything is eating and being eaten. Many people state their opinion without looking into the background or history of a writer. This is the folly of youth. I get it… I was once “idealistic” and believed that I was always right. Experience… life teaches you to be humble. Expand your field of view and take it all in. I guarantee that you will learn far more gracefully than proceeding with philosophy of knowing-it-all. I say this with love.

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      1. I would venture to guess that an intelligent young lady, such as yourself, knew precisely what you were doing when you replied to my post. This isn’t the first challenging reply you have posted to my blog. You challenge other’s actions. That isn’t a bad thing… It is good as long as you can follow through as to why you are doing it. If it is to help others, to challenge them to think outside of the box, it is a good thing, regardless of their response. If it was to reaffirm your beliefs… well you have a ways to go.

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      2. My mistake. An intelligent young man. My error was to rely upon my memory verses refreshing it. I apologize. An intelligent young man such as yourself. I am glad to see your pride for the State of Kansas.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. id like to invite you to respond to my post ‘power of perspective’ on my blog. please take the time to read, consider my words and watch to video i have attached. then, if you feel so inclined, respond in the comments. thx

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      4. I looked to your blog again. Sorry for my mistake. For some reason, I cannot comment to your post, which is fine. I am honored to have you post such a response to my information. Thank you. I hope that you also feel honored that I didn’t delete or ‘”not post” your responses; even though they refute my position. Instead I wish to honor you by allowing for your disagreement. However, plants do feel. It has been proven that plants react to music and grow more prolifically. Plants have a system of self defense, just as animals do. I do not pretend that humans or animals or plants all have the same level of conscientiousness. I firmly believe that they do not. But, plants “feel” pain and respond to it by utilizing self defense, healing, dying or growing. Animals have a level of emotion more closely associated to us humans–at least from our level of comprehension. But, you have not addressed my premise that a “natural” death isn’t chosen nor is it humane. I KNOW that a natural death is violent. It makes my heart swell…. I know that the death that I provide is less violent. My livestock experiences the pain of the one cut that I make to their throat. I always endeavor to make sure that they experience as little pain as possible. This is why I prescribe only one cut verses two; or for God’s sake, electrocuting prior to the cut (seriously people… have you ever touched an electric fence or a light socket?). I also intimately know that after that one cut, they do not experience pain. They faint due to blood loss… They die falling asleep… per say…. I have seen humans, animals and plants die a natural death. I have seen and experienced the violence that accompanies it. Death… It is violent regardless of the way that it is experienced, but the degree /level of pain can be greatly reduced by the method of death. We put our pets to sleep, right? Why? Why not let them die a natural death? Because, we are stopping the degree of pain that they experience. As a farmer… If I didn’t put to death the extra males in my flock, my herd… the flock or herd would do it for me. Their methods are far more violent. Disagree? Have you seen a cock fight?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Poultry Processing Procedures | How to Provide

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