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Small Poultry Processing Plants and Services

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by Kevin Ellis
Poultry Specialist

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Interest in specialty poultry production is growing in the U.S. Many small farmers raise poultry with outdoor access, or they may raise a heritage American breed. Many consumers would like to buy poultry meat and products from these specialty birds. However, there are few processing facilities that provide poultry processing services for independent producers. Very large poultry processing plants are usually only set up to process their own birds. Therefore, some small meat processing plants have added poultry processing to their services, or entrepreneurs have built dedicated poultry processing plants. Since it is expensive to build a processing plant, some producers share resources and put together mobile processing units. Some of these plants are USDA-inspected with inspectors are present during processing. If your birds are processed at a USDA plant, you have various options for selling the carcasses or products. For example, you can sell to the public, stores, restaurants, across state lines, etc. Some of these plants are state-licensed plants where inspectors may not be present during processing, and you may have fewer options for selling the carcasses. Some plants offer special types of processing such as cut-up or further processing (sausage, jerky), air chilled, kosher, halal, or certified organic.

This list is a joint effort of several nonprofit organizations that assist small poultry growers, including Heifer International and American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. This list was originally started by the Livestock Conservancy. Please help us maintain and expand this list. Use our Poultry Processor Listing Form to submit or update your entry, or if you are aware of a plant that may want to be listed, please send us an email or call and we will contact the plant.

Related ATTRA publications: Small-Scale Poultry Processing, Growing Your Range Poultry Business: An Entrepreneur's Toolbox

Contact Kevin Ellis, 800-346-9140 for more information.


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This page was last updated on: August 3, 2018