(l. to r.) Three Ladies Gutting: Deb Pun Discoe, Christie Fox and her neighbor, Phoebe. In the rear is Sam. He is manning the scalder. The hot water makes feather removal easy. Outdoor to the right of this pic, Shane Fox dispatched the broiler chickens.
This is an industrial scalding machine. The metal grated tray rotates around on an horizontal axis. The hot water (around 145 degrees F) makes removing feathers easy.
Sam also mans the plucker. Up to 3 birds can be defeathered in this drum which spins on a vertical rotating axis. See a video in action http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAUDCdwywqc&feature=related
Shane Fox demonstrated how to pack the carcass for sale. After bagging and sealing with a C-ring staple, plastic bags can be vacuum sealed in 200 degrees F hot water (stainless steel pot). Shane punctured a small hole near the birde end of the bag to allow air to escape, thereby creating a vacuum. Cool, eh! Shane told us this package prevents freezer burn for a very long time.
This was the hoop house where we processed 80 meat birds. Deb & Ben arrived around 6:30am and worked for the next 5 hours. The interior was well lit, NPR was playing on the radio station and everyone was friendly. Deb was thankful the weather was clear. The 33 gallon clean containers became the chill tank for the carcass after processing. There was a official looking digital scale (intended for trade) under the steeply angled tarp.
Brooder with slow-moving broiler chicks. These are Cornish Rock cross from Asagi Hatchery (http://www.asagihatchery.com/), ready in about six weeks.