Poultry Processing Building
Grant Award: $6,000
Allen has constructed a dedicated poultry processing building to expand his non-GMO pasture-raised broiler operation. With the new building, he can process more birds in less time and during inclement weather. Since he typically runs out of birds as soon as he processes them, he is more able to respond to demand with the proper facility.
The 10-foot by 22-foot building has a concrete slab with a floor drain for easy clean-up and sanitary conditions. It houses Featherman processing equipment—an eight cone rotary killing station, thermostat controlled propane scalder with dunking rack, rotary drum plucker, stainless steel evisceration table, wash sink, bag sealer and special knives for killing and evisceration.
Up to this point, he has had to process birds in an open pole barn, setting up and breaking down equipment each session. He needed to rush to finish before temperatures reached the 70’s and flies appeared.
With the new facility, he can process 25 birds per week, which he can do alone in four hours. In a six-month season and four pens, he can raise 625 birds per year, and expect to sell 600 per year with mortality rates at three percent. Meat birds make up 70 percent of farm sales.
“The poultry operation is part of an overall plan to find niche products with strong markets that can produce income to cover costs and produce a profit,” Allen said. “Specializing in broiler production, slowly increasing sales as production allows, is key to becoming profitable.”
Allen farms 25 acres or organic blueberries, shiitake mushrooms, non-GMO duck and chicken eggs, garden produce, free range chicken and duck, grass-fed lamb, and Rainbow Trout. He sells at the Transylvania Farmers Market and to Jaime’s Restaurant, the Hendersonville Co-Op, Food Matters Market, Healthy Harvest, directly to customers on the farm. He started his operation in 2010, drawing on agricultural experience in high school, home-scale level growing throughout his life, and a lot of reading about new developments in diversified agriculture.