Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mobile slaughterhouse gets rolling

I can't tell you how excited I am that the Puget Sound area has finally gotten its mobile abattoir program rolling. Following the lead of San Juan County, small farms in the area now have access to a mobile slaughterhouse unit that allows them to not have to ship their animals down to Oregon for USDA-inspected facility "processing".

It didn't make sense for these local farms to be able to tout their products as local if there was so much mileage involved in getting their meat from farm to table. This specially built, 45-foot, stainless-steel trailer, officially called a "Mobile Meat Processing Unit", now lets small, local farms supply local meat without all the hassles inherent in selling live animals to consumers.

This whole thing got me thinking about chickens, so I asked the program manager of Puget Sound Fresh if this unit is available to a collective of backyard urban chicken farmers and, apparently, it's just for hooved animals. However, I was informed that there are actually small units you can buy/rent for backyard efforts.

For those of you in the area, a group on Vashon Island got a small grant to purchase a plucker and now they train people on how to harvest their chickens and process them. So, I can certainly see how a group of backyard chicken breeders could band together to process their own birds. It would certainly take a lot of the issues out of dispatching your own cluckers.

Would you be more apt to raise animals for meat if you had access to either an abattoir or a local group to help you?

Picture courtesy of The Seattle Times.

9 comments:

Wendy said...

This post makes me realize how very lucky I am to live where I do. I have a local butcher to whom I take my backyard-raised broiler chickens. For $4, he'll turn my live birds into meat. For an extra fifty cents, he'll even cut them up for me. He also handles larger animals, and a local dairy farmer has his cows butchered there, and a friend of ours had his pig butchered there.

I plan to someday butcher my own birds, but it's baby-steps, and now that I'm comfortable with our set-up for raising the birds from chicks, maybe I can look into harvesting them, as well.

Monica said...

I just heard about this from a friend of mine and am so pleased that this is in our area. :)

Kay's Spot said...

Do you really have no butcher in your area?? I grew up on a small farm and we butchered pultry to sell at Farmer's Market, but larger animals we either did ourselves or, more often, took to a local butcher to process. I now live in a neighboring county, and we still have local butchers and meat processors that butcher locally raised animals. I have purchased a half a cow w/a friend and had it processed at our local butcher. I can't believe that there are no facilities nearby Seattle!! Maybe that is a great busines start-up for someone ....

Crunchy Chicken said...

If someone knows of a butcher in the Seattle area that will take a live chicken and process it for you, I would like that info. I've looked a number of times and couldn't find any...

Amber said...

Having a resource like this would definitely make me less hesitant to raise my own animals. However, lack of space forbids it in any case. All the same, the mobile slaughterhouse sounds fabulous. I know this is a big problem for small producers here, too - having access to licensed processing facilities.

Pheas said...

Nope, never ever. I can eat well and be healthy without having to take anyone's life. I wouldn't want it done to me, so I won't do it to others.

Greenpa said...

Seems like an exceptionally good idea to me. The inspectors have to keep track of just one unit, instead of 6 or 7; and many more farmers can be served.

I have a friend here who raised free range heritage turkeys one year, and was very successful- but then the USDA poultry facility closed (poor management, I think). Now he just flat can't afford to haul turkeys 150 miles to the next one- and he had restaurants waiting in line.

Wish we had one here!

Thistle said...

Omg, this is hilarious/AMAZING! Have to write about this for the Post. Thanks for the tip...

Sarah said...

I've helped a friend slaughter her chickens in exchange for getting to take one home for dinner. I don't eat meat all that often, so if I ever get a place big enough (and non-rented enough) to have chickens, it'll be an amount that I'm comfortable processing myself. I really don't know what I'd do with the amount of meat on a cow, unless I was sharing it with the whole block!

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