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Meagan Roberts "Pickin The Right Chicken" SSAWG2018

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From the mini course "Pickin' The Right Chicken", Thursday 1/18 2018 from 1:00-5:00 pm.

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Meagan Roberts "Pickin The Right Chicken" SSAWG2018

  1. 1. Housing, Processing and Cooperatively Marketing Poultry Meagan Coneybeer-Roberts
  2. 2. Housing Your Chicks
  3. 3. Artificial Brooding- Methods • Box/Battery Brooder- fully enclosed, stackable home version of a commercial brooder, all tools are built in (lights, feeders, flooring etc), most expensive • Area Brooder- combines a pen to contain chicks and an overhead heat source, very scalable and flexible in design • Hover/Ohio Brooder- developed in 1940s, utilizes an area brooder system with a “hover” box heat source • 4 x 4 ft for 200 to 250 chicks • 4 x 6 ft for 250 to 300 chicks
  4. 4. Battery Brooders
  5. 5. Area Brooders
  6. 6. Hover Brooder https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hkmw/downloads/46524.pdf
  7. 7. Artificial Brooding- Space • 2.5 ft2 per bird in the brooder • Roosts- ¼ in. to ½ in. dowels or branches, 3 linear inches per chick • Never house chicks together if they are more than a week apart in age Age of Chicks Feeder Space Per Chick 0-4 weeks 2 linear inches 4-8 weeks 3 linear inches Age of Chicks Waterer Space per 10 Chicks 0-1 weeks 1 quart 1-4 weeks 2 quarts 4-8 weeks 4 quarts
  8. 8. Artificial Brooding- Heat • Starting in week 1, chicks need 95° ambient temperature with a 5° decrease per week of age • Chicks can go without heat at 4-5wks and can handle night temperatures in the upper 40s • You can move your hover brooder into an outside coop at 2 wks with many heritage breeds • Inadequate heat can cause piling and suffocation/crushing death • Night-use an infrared heat bulb • Day- use a full spectrum reptile “day” bulb, allows for synthesis of vitamin D
  9. 9. Artificial Brooding- Bedding • Bedding needs to be absorbent with good traction • Do not use pine, cedar or other aromatic beddings • Do not use newspaper, too slippery • Hardwood sawdust, critter paper bedding, low-pile towels, paper towels or linens can all be used • Linens and towels reduce bedding waste • Paper and sawdust can be composted • Layer loose bedding to 1 in. deep • Change often, do not wait for a smell to develop
  10. 10. Artificial Brooding- Ventilation • Protect chicks from direct drafts • Clean brooders before a smell develops to prevent ammonia toxicity • Fresh air movement is necessary to reduce humidity and respiratory illness • Leave area or hover brooder pens lidless, open the sides of the battery brooder to prevent condensation and build up of ammonia
  11. 11. Artificial Brooding- Feeding • 0-2 wk old chicks can drown in most waterers, use only mason jar style or place marbles in the trough of larger waters • Nipple waterers can be made from small pop bottles • Specialized chick feeders reduce waste
  12. 12. Housing Your Adult Chickens
  13. 13. Proper Housing • Provide adequate space- prevents cannibalism, boredom and disease spread • Chicken roosts- 8 to 10 in/bird, 2x2in rod with rounded top • Chicken space- 4 to 6 ft2/ bird in the coop • Provide adequate ventilation without draft • Use sanitary feeders and waterers • A tarp “hammock” under the roosts can be used to collect night droppings and keep coop floor cleaner • Use litter in coop and change it BEFORE you smell it • Can use straw, sand, shredded paper • Do not you pine, cedar or other aromatic beddings
  14. 14. Ranges and Yards • Free Range- open pasture/ range with rotation and mobile housing is best • Yarding- stationary coop with multiple yards can work • Artificial dusting areas (diatomaceous earth) • Keep coops airy and bright • Don’t confine your poultry
  15. 15. Free Range • Sweet spot of 50 hens or 500 broilers/acre/year with daily moves to green grass • Mobile housing prevents denuding of soil around the coop • Mobile electric poly-wire fencing allows for flexibility • ‘Rest’ rotational areas for several weeks to months between rotations • You can re-seed/plant resting rotational areas • Keep grass mowed to 4 in. to allow for foraging
  16. 16. Free Range Portable Housing • Pasture pens- floorless chicken coops that serve as house and yard in one • Must be moved more often • Restricts roosting and flight due to low ceilings • Reduces predation to aerial predators • More common for meat bird grow-out • Portable coops- mobile structures that allow for free choice movement inside and out • Can be moved away from bare spots • Allow for flight and roosting • Birds on open pasture vulnerable to aerial predators • Feed can be placed away from coop to encourage ranging • More common for egg flocks
  17. 17. Pasture Pens
  18. 18. Mobile Coops
  19. 19. Yarding • Fenced chicken yard with stationary coop- eventually becomes bare soil • 8-10 ft2 minimum per chicken in the yard- the more space, the better • Double yard- chickens are in one yard while you plow and replant the other yard. • Henyard System (deep bedding)- a thick layer of straw or other litter is spread over the entire yard, and more is added whenever the yard becomes muddy. Once a year, the litter is cleared out and spread on a garden or field. • Stoneyards- The yard is covered with a couple of layers of large round stones. The manure tends to wash down below the top layer of stones, separating it (and any parasites it contains) from the chickens. • Sun porches- The yard is a wire-floored deck elevated above ground level
  20. 20. Processing Your Birds
  21. 21. Sanitary Processing Practices 1. Sanitary operating conditions • Spray bottles of disinfectant (bleach water), sanitized tools and surfaces, protection of product from contamination 2. Grounds and pest control • Restrict entry of pests, pets and other animals into processing and handling area 3. Sewage and waste disposal • Bury or compost waste parts (feathers, heads, feet, guts, blood) away from natural water, collect rinse water and dispose of away from natural water 4. Water supply • All water must come from a city water supply or well that is tested by the health department at least twice per year • Testing documentation must be kept on record
  22. 22. Sanitary Processing Practices 5. Facilities • Maintain facilities in a way that prevents contamination of product 6. Dressing Rooms and Bathrooms • Must be close, in full working order, clean and adequately sized for your staff • Must be separate from processing facilities 7. Inedible Material Control • Prevent the contamination of edible meat by inedible products (bile, organs, feathers etc.)
  23. 23. Sanitary Processing Practices • EVERYTHING THAT TOUCHES THE BIRDS MUST BE FOOD GRADE!!!! • No garden hoses, no caution cones, no non-food grade buckets, no garden sprayers, no garbage bags, no plywood tables, no wooded cutting boards
  24. 24. Processing Equipment • Featherman Equipment offers a complete line, turn-key • Lowes sells food grade tubing, nozzles, sprayers, and adapters • Lowes sells food grade buckets • Restaurant supply stores sell cambro containers for “keeper” parts (neck, liver, gizzard, heart)
  25. 25. Kill Cones and Blood Catch • Stainless steel- order size that is right for your birds • Sterilize cones and catch before use • Spray with no-stick cooking spray to prevent blood from drying
  26. 26. Kill Cones
  27. 27. Kill Cones
  28. 28. Kill Cones
  29. 29. Scalder • Heat water from 145-150⁰ • Featherman scalder comes with a pre-set thermostat and thermal cover • Add small amount of liquid dish soap to water • Dunk for a count of 7, lift for a count of 3 • Repeat until wing, armpit and tail feathers release easily • Submerge feet to remove scales if you want to sell feet for stock • Requires electricity and propane
  30. 30. Scalder
  31. 31. Scalder
  32. 32. Plucker • Purchase plucker sized for your birds • Requires water hook-up and electricity • Pluck more than one bird at a time to get a good “tumble” • Water fowl will need to be waxed (dipped in hot wax and then ice water) after scalding • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vqo3BYnBR4 • Go over plucked birds and remove any remaining feathers by hand
  33. 33. Plucker
  34. 34. Plucker
  35. 35. Evisceration Table • Need food grade containers for parts and food grade tubing and nozzle for rinsing • Remove head and feet- discard • Remove neck and keep • Make horizontal slit with notch around vent, remove organs in one handful • Remove heart, liver, spleen, gizzard and testicles (if you’re brave enough) and place in “keeper” buckets
  36. 36. Evisceration Table • Avoid piercing the gallbladder (small, green organ) • Anything contaminated with bile has to be disposed of • Scrape lungs free from lower ribcage • Rinse carcass and place in first chill
  37. 37. Evisceration Table
  38. 38. Evisceration Table
  39. 39. Chill #1- Pink Chill • Primary chill tank can be large food grade barrel • Blood will tint water pink, not appropriate to sell from • Leave in primary chill for ~15 minutes before moving to secondary
  40. 40. Pink Chill
  41. 41. Chill #2- Retail Chill • Water in secondary chill will be cleaner • Can sell directly from secondary chill (on-farm sales) or bag from tank • 3 hours to reduce internal meat temp. to below 40⁰F
  42. 42. Secondary Chill
  43. 43. Secondary Chill
  44. 44. Cooperative Production
  45. 45. Chick Sales • Each farm specializes in a single breed of bird • Sales are made just like a commercial hatchery (single website or order form), with each farm fulfilling the specific breed orders • Gives the illusion of scale to the consumer • Straight run chicks and no (or limited) shipping simplifies the process • “Chick Days” sales to farm supply stores are possible • Requires NPIP certification, and (depending on your state) chick/poultry dealer and hatchery licenses
  46. 46. Meat Sales • Growers select the same or similar breeds • Coordinate hatch dates to estimate grow-out time • For product consistency and quality control, growers must feed the same feed to all flocks at the same rate • Large orders to restaurants or grocery stores can be met with this model • Consistent supply to customers can be met through farmer coordination • Packaging and labeling consistency is key
  47. 47. Egg Sales • Regional grocery store chains cut contracts with growers for ~80,000 pasture-raised eggs per year/contract • Multiple growers with eggs flocks ranging from 200-400 hens can meet this order • Breed selection, hatch date coordination, replacement pullet grow- out and bird nutrition need to be consistent across all growers • A cooperative grading facility can be established using shared resources and grants • Packaging and labeling consistency is key
  48. 48. Purchasing • Feed- feed is custom designed non-GMO, reformulated quarterly based on season, and ordered in bulk at wholesale pricing • Requires a fork lift for delivery • Must be paid before shipping • We have a relationship with a local feed store that pays our order upfront, we pick up and pay at the store • Egg Cartons, Packaging and Labels- farmers can coordinate labeling and get volume price breaks • Supplements- grit, oyster shell, diatomaceous earth, sulfur powder- bulk price breaks and wholesale pricing
  49. 49. Contact Information • Meagan Coneybeer-Roberts • mroberts@wpcc.edu • 828-448-3562 • On Facebook: WPCC Sustainable Agriculture

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