Alberta Agriculture is selling its 53-foot, self contained, mobile poultry abattoir.
The unit has its own generator and water and sewer system, which Bert Dening of the department said will allow even an inexperienced chicken plucking crew to process more than 100 birds an hour.
The Mobile Poultry Abattoir has four rooms.
The birds enter in the back room, where they are stunned, scalded and plucked. The second room has an eviscerating line with 20 hangers. The third room is a cooler, where up to 700 birds can be air chilled. The last room contains all the systems needed to operate the abattoir, including the generator, pressure systems and bathroom.
Dening said the birds could be killed during the day and then cooled, packaged and sold directly from the trailer that same evening.
The project was designed to test the concept of slaughtering and inspecting animals in a clean and hygienic manner on the farm. It’s the second mobile abattoir partnership between Olds College and Alberta Agriculture.
A red meat mobile abattoir was tested in 2008 and sold to the County of Big Lakes near High Prairie in 2010.
Dening said the point of these trials isn’t to get into the mobile abattoir construction business but to evaluate and test the concept. The trials have proven that mobile abattoirs are a viable alternative, especially in areas where there are no slaughter plants, he added.
“We can actually go to a farm and slaughter legally with this plant. We built it as an example.”
Dening said there is more interest in the chicken mobile abattoir than the red meat abattoir, which was designed to slaughter bison, beef and sheep.
“I’ve had quite a few phone calls about the plant,” he said.
Dening estimates it would cost $700 a day to operate the plant.
Staff slaughtered 1,000 birds last summer at five farms in close proximity to each other. He estimates it costs about 20 cents to process a bird in the plant, depending on several factors.
“The point is it can be done and done quite efficiently. The beauty is it can be done on the farm.”