Poultry Processing


7 Years
Aug 6, 2012
Hello all i am asking for some help.
i am trying to go into the poultry business and wanted some incite of the processing and USDA certifications. my plan is to do farm raised chickens and sell them to the local community and also eventually getting in the commercial part of growing. is there a need for a poultry grower and processor in the Northeast PA area? if i do get into this is there some information that can help get to this goal?

You'll want to look up the website for the PA Department of Agriculture, they should have guidelines listed somewhere on there. If you're wanting to process yourself, you'll need to meet their guidelines as far as the facilities being of a certain standard and materials for processing for the public. I know there are different factors, such as if you only sell on your farm (people must come pick up the birds) vs if you plan to take any to stores or things like farmer's markets and the like.

If you plan to do processing and actually build for that, you might want to go ahead and build to where you're allowed to take in outside birds, because there's a fair demand for custom processing in most areas, people end up with excess roosters and the like.

I looked into it for Illinois and the website outlined things like having to have two separate entrances to the processing building, one for customers getting processed items and a separate one for accepting the live birds. It also detailed what sort of materials the processing areas needed, like stainless steel cutting tables and that special wall material you see in restaurant kitchens that can be disinfected, I can't remember what it's called now.
You county agricultural extension agents can also help you find the info and contacts you needs. They may even be able to connect you to local ag seminars or workshops that are held on various subjects.

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