The picture shows a mobile chicken processing facility on a small family farm in Missouri. High-volume operations require that chickens be processed in USDA inspected facilities, which are often at great distance from rural farms. Fortunately, state, county and federal regulations permit small volume processors to use facilities like the one in the photo.
Scale is an important consideration, thus the unit is built on a trailer that can be hitched to a truck and hauled to other nearby farms. This particular unit was built by a group of small farmers who share equipment. Most small volume producers only need the facility a few days out of the year. Rather than have it sit idle, a technology-share model allows many other producers to benefit from the facility, and share the cost of building and maintaining it.
The metal tub is a chicken plucker. This is a simple technology that allows eight birds to be plucked in just a few minutes. The processor first puts the birds in a hot water bath, places them in the metal tub, closes the lid, and flips the switch. An electric motor rotates the tub at high speeds as a series of rubber plugs embedded in the side of the tub remove the feathers.
Using this technology, a group of about 5 laborers can slaughter between 100 and 120 chickens in a day.
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