Processing broilers for the first time. Question

Blind Squirrel Farms

In the Brooder
Nov 28, 2020
We've been raising our first broilers in a Salatin type chicken tractor. They have been moved daily to new pasture spot but still they are dirty little birds.... LOL
Do we need to clean them somehow before we put them in the scalder? And if not, do we need to change the water from time to time? Hope not because it takes our scalder about 1hour to get to temperature.

Also, have shrink bags. So when we are done I would assume that we need to clean the scalder and put in fresh water before getting it up to temp for shrink wrapping? Yes?

Thanks for you help,
I’ve only processed one Cornish cross so far and they do take filth to a whole new level. I bathed her occasionally but it was during summer — not an option now. I’ll be doing multiple birds soon though. And I’m thinking we won’t change the water just for the scald process. The birds get rinsed later anyway. Maybe a quick bidet with the garden hose before scalding. Probably a very good idea to use clean water for the shrink bag step though.
We don't clean the birds before going in the scalder. The water gets dirty, but the bird gets rinsed in the plucker (assuming you are using one). We use a 10 gallon scalder and can get through 30 or 40 birds before I feel like I need to change the water. As fpr the shrink wrap bags. Definitely change out from the scald water. You want clean water for that. You might already know, but you will want the shrink wrap water to be a different temperature - 180-190F as opposed to 140-150F for scalding.
I keep a running hose at the table where I do all the work. I always start with a wash of the backside and underside. I might have to dip a bird twice to assist defeathering, I haven't quite got the timing down, and would prefer the water not be excessively dirty - removing the bulk contaminants first goes a long way towards that effort.

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