1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Transporting The Meaties to Their Doom

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by WishboneDawn, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. WishboneDawn

    WishboneDawn Out Of The Brooder

    99
    2
    31
    Jun 19, 2011
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Our 24 Cornish X's go to the processor Sunday night - They'll be butchered the next day. We're borrowing a utility trailer and putting a tarp over the top. At least that was the plan and I'm suddenly wondering if it's a good one. I'm wondering if the poor chickens will get tossed around and may suffer a bit on the ride. Any tips?

    Also, any worries with fresh chicken carcasses and a 30-40 min drive back home in terms of bacteria or anything? Can I just put them in bags in the back of the SUV or should I be rounding up ice packs and coolers?
     
  2. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

    1,929
    25
    183
    Apr 18, 2010
    Mid-MI
    I like to transport chickens in dog crates - but then, I usually transport in the cargo of my Expedition [​IMG] I like the crates because they are easy to clean, contained, and easy to get chickens out of. Do you have any friends with extra crates you could tie down in the trailer? They wouldn't need a ton of room in the crates for the ride - maybe 2-4 crates would do.

    I'd worry the tarp would freak them out, or that you might have escapees, unless the trailer is completely enclosed.
     
  3. moonsynth

    moonsynth Out Of The Brooder

    31
    3
    24
    Jun 14, 2011
    I thought I'd do the same with a trailor and tarp. Then reading around here it seems like it might not be a good idea. I'm raising freedom rangers and they are FAST at 8.5 weeks old. I know I'd have trouble catching them without loosing some or taking up a bunch of the processors time. Instead, lots of people seem to use cardboard boxes. I found plans for chicken crates that I'm going to build. I bought supplies for just over $100, but I'm sure you could do it for a lot cheaper if you use some pallet or scrap wood.

    www.apppa.org/xBuild%20your%20Own.doc

    The above link is to a word document with the DIY instructions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  4. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

    17,489
    82
    351
    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    We use an extra large dog cage and make a double decker out of it so 12 can fit on the top shelf and 13 in the bottom. Depending on the temps, I take coolers to put the chickens in for the ride home. [​IMG]
     
  5. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Make sure you keep the ride as low stress as possible. Don't want to lose anybody to heart attacks along the way.
    I would certainly ice the meat on the way home unless it's frozen when you pick it up.
     
  6. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

    253
    4
    101
    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    Cooler(s) of sufficient size and some ice will be fine. Not knowing their operation, it would be hard to give you particulars about how to get to that point.

    The butcher that does mine does them on Mondays, but it's a matter of showing up with your birds that morning. You need to book in advance, so they can let you know in advance if they're too booked up. From there, it's first-come, first-served. The line starts forming about 5:30 for a 7am open.

    Quite the social event. All manner of folks, all sizes of flocks to be done of all different sorts. Those that don't have crates that can be carried into the shed outside the clean room where the work is done, will find others that just step up to carry the birds in for them two at a time as the owner catches them in whatever sort of enclosure. Lots of visiting while people wait. Chicken advice exchanged and I swear, if somebody would think to bring a lace tablecloth, somebody would lay out a tea.

    Back to your point, whoever brought them is there while the birds are beng done, can watch the entire process, if they want. Last step is the birds are given their last look-over and put into their own barrel of fresh-drawn chilled water. From there come the options you're interested in. The shop offers the waxed corrugated cases used to ship bulk quantities of dressed birds. If you have nothing of your own, they can provide those with a plastic bag liner, and ice, to get them home -- at a cost. Most folks bring whatever they've got for coolers. If the crew thinks one of those needs it, they've got a long-handled brush, a 5-gallon pail of a mild, thin detergent mix, and a high volume hose to swab and rinse them out. I was kinda pleased myself, first time there, mine were the first ones they didn't bother to clean -- I'd scrubbed them a couple of days earlier with a mild detergent and bleach and let them dry. Anyway, from there, my shop tosses the birds into your cooler and ices each layer of them. In this case the ice is without additional cost.

    The shop will have to do something with them to keep your dressed birds cool until you get there to pick them up. Options I could imagine? They keep your finished order in tubs and a chilled locker and you pack them in whatever when you get there. You label your coolers with your name and they pack them in ice for you to pick up. My place, they have the option (similar to you dropping yours off the day prior) of dropping them off (you still have to show up in the morning and wait your turn), but they'll put them and their barrel of water into a chilled locker until everyone and their chickens are gone, and then go about bagging and vacuum sealing, and freezing your birds. The vacuum sealing is appealing but, myself, I like to keep mine iced down in the coolers for two or thee days to let everything relax before freezing them myself. Might/gonna/hafta give in and get a home vacuum sealer of my own one of these days.

    Bottom line, ask the shop doing your chickens how folks handle it. I'm sure they'll be happy to explain your different options.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  7. CityGoneCountry

    CityGoneCountry Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    22
    Aug 20, 2011
    Stephenville
    Quote:Curious what they charge per bird to process? Have done our own so far but would be great have someone else do it!
     
  8. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

    253
    4
    101
    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    Curious what they charge per bird to process? Have done our own so far but would be great have someone else do it!

    The shop I use is $3/bird iced in your cooler.​
     
  9. WishboneDawn

    WishboneDawn Out Of The Brooder

    99
    2
    31
    Jun 19, 2011
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Quote:The shop I use is $3/bird iced in your cooler.

    Same here.

    We got the chickens to the processor tonight. We used dog crates and some severely modified cardboard boxes. By severely modified I mean we just cut lots of air holes in them. He put them right into a pen with water once we got there and we'll pick them up tomorrow night!
     
  10. zowieyellowflame

    zowieyellowflame Chillin' With My Peeps

    466
    0
    129
    Jun 11, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    WishboneDawn,
    I think I know of the processor you are thinking about. I just spoke to them regarding my turkeys being butchered. I am struggling with a way to get them there too. I only have a car. I had planned on doing them ourselves but when i found out how affordable it is..... $5 to $7 per bird, depending on weight, I can't justify doing it myself, unless I could borrow a plucker from somewhere.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by