Um. Okay. Correct on all counts.
But dude. Let's take a look in the box, that's what really matters. Come on, walk around back here with me...
So, whaddya think is behind the door? An ultimate party wagon complete with big screens, leather recliners, and multiple beer meisters to be used for hardcore tailgating at PSU Football games this fall, you say? No. But a damn good idea though....(stroking chin thoughtfully...)
All right, all right, enough suspense. Let's take a look. That's it, roll up the door, and feast your eyes upon the interior...
Welcome to the Rettland Farm Mobile Poultry Processing facility, or MPU for short. This is my solution to the problem of finding local, reliable, sanitary facilities to slaughter the poultry that is raised on small farms like mine.
I wanted to build a facility that met a variety of needs. First, I needed a place that matched or exceeded any food processing facility in cleanliness. I needed to be sure that the integrity of every chicken was as high when it came out of the facility as it was when it went in. So we needed washable floors, walls and ceilings. We needed bright lights so we could see what the heck we were doing. We needed REALLY hot water. We needed LOTS of stainless steel.
Second, I wanted a facility that could be used to educate the public in general, and my loyal customers in particular, about what went on behind the closed doors of a facility that turns live animals into food. I think it's highly unlikely that the public would ever be given that opportunity to "peak behind the curtain" at a large scale, commercial slaughterhouse, and I think that's unfortunate. For my operation, I wanted to literally throw open the door, and shed light on the whole process, from the kill to the chill. To welcome and even encourage the presence of those people who are the ultimate end users of my birds.
Lastly, I wanted this facility to be a resource for other small farms like me, who may otherwise decide that the rewards of selling amazing, wholesome poultry to people and their families just wasn't worth the hassle of getting it to them. I wanted them to be able to use this facility on their own farms, using their own labor and their own quality standards to process the food to which they affixed their names. Take the abattoir to the animal instead of the other way around, so the animals died where they were raised, and didn't spend their last day (or two) crammed into a cage on a fast moving truck.
So enough background. Ready for a tour?
First stop for the birds: the kill station. The birds are placed head down in these stainless steel funnels, and their heads protrude from the bottom. One quick, small cut with a sharp knife, and they bleed to death.
After the bird comes out of the chill tank, it hits the table. Here it can simply be bagged whole, ready for delivery to the customer, or it can be broken down into breasts, wings, leg quarters, whatever we have a need for. This is a new service that we couldn't provide before, and based on the way these parts are snatched up, it is definitely nice to have this ability. I also don't use any machines, other than the knives you see here, to break the birds down into parts--we don't need them. How do you break down a chicken with just a knife, you ask? Come see us sometime. We'll show you.