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Portable Poultry Processing Trailer

"My home-built mobile processing trailer makes harvesting chickens an easier job. I rent it out mostly to area farmers who raise free-range chickens on pasture," says David Hoover, Penn Yan, N.Y.
  The trailer includes everything needed to kill and process birds on-site. All the customer needs is a garden hose and an extension cord.
  Hoover rents the trailer out within mostly a 50-mile radius. He got the idea when more people in his area started raising pastured poultry and he saw a need for better ways to process birds. "We started with the chassis from a camping trailer, which we lengthened to 20 ft. Then we put on a 92-in. wide diamond plate aluminum floor. All the equipment is built from scratch, although copied or modified from other equipment I had seen elsewhere. Last year we rented the unit to 35 customers."
  According to Hoover, four or five people, with just a little experience, can easily process 30 or more birds per hour. The renter is responsible for transportation. A 1/2-ton pickup will tow the trailer.
  Rental fee is 30 cents per bird ($30 minimum). The fee includes propane, which provides hot water for scalding.
  "A lot of the people who rent out my trailer raise their own chickens on pasture, and in the past processing the birds was a problem," says Hoover.
  Equipment on the trailer includes:
  Cones - for bleeding birds.
  Scalder - automatically dunks birds in water at just the right temperature for just the right time to prepare birds for plucking.
  Plucker - removes all the feathers, with no need to singe.
  Eviscerating table - for cleaning the intestines out of the bird. You have the option of using shackles or cleaning on the table. Includes water hoses to keep everything clean.
  Final cleaning table - allows for quality control and cleaning the gizzard.
  Chill tanks - there are two of them. One tank is for pre-chilling, with cold water used for quick cool down prior to final tank. The final chill tank contains ice water to keep fresh birds cold for sale or home freezing.
  Steps that fold out from one side of the trailer fasten onto the floor for transport. The roof also disassembles for transport.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David and Elva Hoover, 1045 Route 14A, Penn Yan, N.Y.14527 (ph 315 536-6747).

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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #4