Finding a facility to harvest and process your livestock is a challenge for producers of any scale. This challenge has been exasperated by labor shortages and increased local meat demand. Fortunately, an exemption for small-scale poultry producers allows them to harvest and sell their meat.
Many South Carolinians bought poultry during the pandemic as a hobby and our call volume regarding poultry harvest and processing has certainly increased. To safely and humanely process chicken requires hands-on training. This can be a complex skill and is certainly not something you’d try to handle “virtually”.
Through an extension innovation grant, we have secured funding to put together a mobile processing unit. This consists of an enclosed trailer that houses the necessary equipment to teach producers on-farm the proper practices of processing. We are still outfitting the trailer but have planned its first two outings. We will use the mobile processing unit at a “train the trainer” meeting and then will offer a poultry processing workshop to the public on November 11th. The goal of the mobile processing unit is to educate producers of any size on humane harvest, efficient processing, safe food handling, good marketing practices, and even some good cooking recipes.
I anticipate a busy fall with livestock shows, cattlemen meetings, and our extension workshops. Thank you for your support of Clemson Extension.
Christopher LeMaster, Livestock & Forage Agent
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