Processing Equipment Available for Rent
Complete rental with scalder, plucker, cones, 2 processing table and chill tanks
(you must provide water, soap, propane, electricity). We also have a burner and tank to be used with shrink bags, if needed.
$75 per day, plus a $100 deposit that will be given back upon return of the equipment in the condition it was picked up. We will only rent equipment to folks we have trained to use it. It won't leave our farm without the understanding that you know how to use it properly! Download the rental agreement. Please note that equipment rental is not part of the CSA program.
If you choose to rent our equipment, you want to consider how to package your birds. We suggest you look here: http://www.cornerstone-farm.com/equipment/poultry-packaging.
If you bring your birds to us, this is what we use, and it is included in the processing cost. If you don't want to purchase these in advance, you can purchase them from us if we have enough available.
Processing Tips: We've learned a few things along the way...
- The scalder takes 4 hours to get to proper scalding temperature. This is why we won't fire it up for just a few birds. A couple of chickens can be scalded using hot water in stock pot in your kitchen without waiting 4 hours for the scalder.
- Take feed away from your birds the night before processing. If their systems are full, it makes for very messy processing, and makes the process take longer. This allows you to...
- Catch wily birds by throwing down a small handful of food. For those that are hard to catch, if they had their feed taken away, a small amount will entice them to take their focus off you and onto the food, and you should be able to grab them. Or...
- Round up the birds the night before when they are sleeping and easy to catch and put them someplace more confined so you can easily catch them during processing.
- Keep a knife sharpener with you during processing. Sharp knives are safer for you, and keep the process moving.
- Think about the "extras", livers, hearts, gizzards, feet, necks and other parts you might want to keep, or use to feed your dogs or cats. Consider how you want to store them, and have a clean place to collect them.
- Keep a hose nearby. You'll need to rinse the birds, your hands, the processing table frequently. If you are processing in late fall/early winter or early spring, make sure to open and drain your hoses at night so they don't freeze.
- What are you going to do with the birds after you process them? Do you have storage bags for them? Do you have the fridge or freezer space available? Meat needs to get chilled after processing and stay cold to stop the growth of bacteria, so once they come out of the chill tank, they need someplace to go. If you are picking up freshly processed birds, bring a cooler with ice or ice packs so they stay cold until you can get them home into your fridge or freezer.
- What about all that stuff that comes out of the bird? We have a compost pile, and we bury all the guts in the pile and cover it with feathers, leaves, and other compost. Keep in mind that the smell of all that stuff can attract coyotes, foxes, etc. So have a plan to either bury it in compost, or seal it in a garbage bag. Check your local landfill laws, you may not be able to put that out to the trash, you may be required to take it to a special location at your county landfill that is specifically for animal waste. If you do put these items in a compost bin, make sure you are able to let that compost process for a couple of years before use. You won't be able to use that compost the following spring.