Have you considered processing chickens as a full-time job?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by joebryant, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Would you even consider processing chickens as a business? There seems to be such a shortage of places to have chickens processed. That along with the economic situation and high unemployment, it seems to me processing chickens could be a sure thing for someone/anyone who wanted to go into business for themselves.
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    If I had the expensive pluckers and hanging walk in coolers I might think about it. Doing it in the backyard and doing 25 at a time is more of a job than I really care to do and not one I would do for someone else at $3 or less per bird.
  3. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    I agree with MissPrissy on having the proper equiptment then maybe. My butcher charges me $1.60 a bird. I always tip big because there is no way I would do that job for that kind of money. [​IMG]
  4. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    "... $1.60 a bird." Yep, good reason to tip BIG.
  5. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Quote:I envision someone's starting small with perhaps old freezers or refrigerators, boiling water facility, one or two plucking machines, and building up until it was feasible to manage it while having a couple of full-time employees to run the processing. The initial capital investment would not have to be great, but it could be a real money maker from the start, especially if you were to announce on this board that you'd be opening in two or three months. I'm betting that you'd have people waiting in line on opening day and from then on.
  6. IndianaSilkies

    IndianaSilkies In the Brooder

    Feb 16, 2009
    Chalmers, Indiana
    Hmmm, I was just talking with my dh about this since we are having trouble finding anyone in our area to process for us! Unfortunately it would be me doing it mostly -so I nixed that idea! [​IMG]

    Maybe we need a list of processors? It would help everyone from the processor to those of us looking for processors! [​IMG]
  7. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Quote:I just paid $25 for two frozen Cornish X chickens at a farmers' market. If I knew a reliable processor in central Indiana, I'd order 25 Cornish X chicks and raise them for eight weeks. There's no way that I'd process that many myself, but I'd gladly pay someone else with the equipment to do it $2-$3 each.
  8. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I think your success would depend on the demand in your area. It would be best to do some market research first, before investing in any equipment. You'd need a certain number, a rather large number of customers to make it worthwhile. There might also be zoning restrictions if you were to be processing a large number of chickens, and FDA regulations that would apply to those amounts.

    You're right, Joe, that this could be a great enterprise, but perhaps not for everyone everywhere.

    As for our BYC community, know that I'm in western West Palm Beach and I process my own meat birds. If you would like to learn how to do it, contact me. You would have to pay me a lot to make it worth my time to process your birds for you, but I'd be glad to process some with you -- yours or mine -- so you could learn this skill for yourself.
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Quote:Another alternative is to find a butchering buddy or two. Processing 25 chickens at once seems like a daunting task, but if you share the "fun" with a few other folks it isn't such a bad chore. And you really don't need a lot of "equipment" either, primarily a good working table (boards & sawhorses), sharp knives, something to hang the birds from (tree branch, swing frame), and a big pot of steaming water to dunk the birds in (BBQ, camp stove, fire pit).

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