Small-scale Poultry Processing and Slaughter

In the US, access to slaughter for small producers can be limited. Many small producers are interested in processing their birds on their farms. Small-scale processing may be exempt from federal bird-by-bird inspection, and the producer’s responsibility for food safety is high. Many are interested in natural, plant-derived antimicrobials.

Shared processing equipment helps spread the cost for a group of producers and promotes collective action. Mobile poultry processing units (MPU) on trailers can provide a separate facility on the farm that is portable.  Hands-on training is a particularly effective learning method for small-scale poultry processing.

Community Resources: In the mountains of Western North Carolina, several options are available to share poultry processing equipment.

  • NCSU Cooperative Extension Watauga County: Homestead level: turkey fryer as a scalder and table top picker
  • Cornerstone Poultry Ventures mobile processing equipment (
  • Featherman Poultry Processing Equipment scalder and picker rental locator