Poultry Processing Equipment

Poultry Processing Equipment is for our customers who want an easy and fast method for processing their poultry. Processing your own poultry meat is a growing practice for the average person, but plucking and some of the other actions needed can be tedious. The Poultry Processing Equipment we have here at the Snohomish Co-op available for rent will make this process very easy and efficient (especially if you have a significant amount of birds to process - this equipment can handle up to 72 average sized chickens per hour!)

Rent our equipment through our easy rental process and turn your week long endeavor into an afternoon event! We even load the equipment for you!

Rental Information

To rent the Poultry Processing Equipment, all steps must be done through the Snohomish Co-op location. A rental reservation is for 46 hours; this begins at pickup at  2PM and MUST be returned no later than 12PM 46 hours later.  Rental Fee is $28 per rental period. A customer may reserve multiple rental dates in a row if available. Full rental fee for every rental period reserved will be applied. Rental schedule and payment MUST be processed through our Snohomish location.

Renter will check in with the front counter when they arrive to pick up Poultry Processing Equipment. Once rental is verified, renter will be sent back to the warehouse to check out equipment and be loaded.

When returning equipment, the renter will arrive and check in with the front counter. Once verified, the renter will be sent to the warehouse to check in the equipment. The warehouse will inspect the state of the equipment. They will sign off the equipment and your rental will be completed!

As we often have many back to back rentals, adhering to the scheduled rental times is vital. A late fee of $28 will be applied at 12:01 pm at check-in with the front counter.

A refund is available 48 hours ahead of scheduled rental.

If reschedule or cancellation is initiated by the Snohomish Co-op, a reschedule date will be reserved or a refund will be given.

Please Read our Terms & Conditions for the Poultry Processing Equipment

*Rental dates subject to change*
*Rental date availability may differ from website availability*

Usage & Instructions

Equipment included with the rental:

  • Restraining Cones: Small (6), Medium (2), Large (2)
  • Kill Cone Stand (1)
  • Blood Collection Tub (1)
  • Scalding Tub (1)
  • Float Valve (1)
  • Dunking Tripod (1)
  • Shackles (1)
  • Drum Style Plucker (1)

Basic supplies you will need (NOT provided):

  • A Sharp Knife
  • Sharp Kitchen Shears
  • Bucket(s)
  • Full Propane Tank
  • Water Access
  • Electrical Power Access
  • Table (one that can be cleaned and sanitized)
  • Thermometer
  • Extension Cord(s)
  • Coolers
  • Ice
  • Bags (poultry vacuum style, Ziploc, vacuum sealed, whichever you prefer)
  • Trash Can/Bag
  • Towels

Optional (but recommended) supplies (NOT provided):

  • Waterproof Apron
  • Waterproof Boots
  • Scalding Poker (especially if you want to keep the feet)
  • Dish Soap
  • Vegetable Oil Spray

Preparing to Process

Withhold feed from the birds overnight. This will help limit the amount of waste produced by the chickens during this process and prevent contamination.

Preparing the scalder

  1. Set the aquastat to 147.5 degrees. Scald water willrange between 145 to 150 degrees.
    (a.) If thewater is too cool, the feathers will not release well, and you mayhave to leave the bird in longer, potentially resulting in partiallycooking the bird
    (b.) If thewater is too hot, you run the risk of cooking the bird and/or tearingthe skin while plucking
  2. Attach the water valve to the back of the scalder, making sure it is closed.
  3. Attach propane line to the propane bottle.
  4. Turn the dial by the propane hook up so it is set to “pilot”. Hold button/dial down for at least 16 seconds to clear the propane line.
  5. Fill scalder with water about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. (You can add a small amount of dish soap to the water to help with ease of plucking, but this is not required)
  6. Ignite pilot light with the button down at the base of the scalder. You could also use a striker or match, just be very careful. The pilot light is underneath the water valve about 4-5 inches underneath the scalder.
  7. Turn the gas dial so it is pointing to “on”. You should hear the flame below the scalder.
    *See additional information for operating the scalder*
  8. Attach the float valve – run hose through the tripod base. Thread the valve onto the hose and hang it on the side of the scalder. (It will automatically top off the water as it is used up, so you don’t have to add large amounts of cold water in all at once and have to wait for the water to reheat)
  9. Attach the dunking lever to the base of the tripod
  10. Attach shackles (loops away from the operator). Adjust as needed.
  11. The scalder is ready to use once the water is up to the appropriate temperature as indicated in step one.

Preparing the cones

  1. Place the black blood collection tub on the ground.
  2. Placethe metal kill cone stand on the ridges of the inside of the tub.
  3. Foreasy clean up, it’s recommended that you spray a light coating ofvegetable oil on the inside of the cones and on the kill cone stand.

How to use the killing cones

  • Once the cones are prepped, pick up the bird gentlyaround the body – holding the wings to the body. When handled in acalm manner, the birds will stay quiet and calm.
  • Place the bird head down into the cone with feet upwards – the cone should not be too big so the bird slip too far down and possibly through the hole at the bottom, but not so small that the head won’t reach through the hole at the bottom or back itself out the top of the cone if it moves.
  • Reach through the bottom of the cone and pull the head through.
  • Pluck some feathers from the side of the neck and slit across the side of the neck and sever the carotid artery and jugular vein. Avoid the trachea (windpipe) and avoid severing the head.
  • Let the birds bleed out – should take between one and two minutes if done correctly.

How to use the scalder

  1. Once the chickens have bled out, place the birds in the leg shackles and attach it to the dunker arm. It can hold about 30 pounds. Load it so the weight is even on both sides.
  2. Dunk the birds in about 6-7 cycles: hold them in for about five seconds in, then three seconds out.

Tip: Check for doneness after the 4th or 5th by plucking wing feathers. When they release easily with no resistance, you are ready to pluck.

How to use the plucker

  1. Swing the tripod of the scalder – still loaded with the freshly scalded chickens – over the scalder.
  2. Hit the start switch of the scalder with your foot.
  3. Release the chickens from the loops of the shackles into the scalder.
  4. Turn on the water valve to start washing the feathers down and swept out of the bottom.
  5. Let the chickens tumble in the plucker for about 20 seconds.
  6. Inspect the birds – repeat as needed.
  7. Typically, the tail is removed during the butchering process itself, so don’t worry about any remaining feathers on the tail.

Once you have completed all of these steps, you are now ready to eviscerate the bird and finish the butchering process.

If you experience equipment malfunction please inform the store from which you pickled up the equipment or contact the NABC office.  The equipment is equipped with a 3-prong grounded plug for safety reasons - do not modify the plug. DO NOT ALTER OR REPAIR THE EQUIPMENT - doing so could render the equipment inoperable or result in a hazardous condition. Contact the Snohomish Management at the store.


The Following link is aseries of informative videos demonstrating the equipment as well ashow to process specific types of birds: https://www.feathermanequipment.com/how-to-videos/

For those who are needingadditional information regarding poultry processing and sales ofpoultry we have attached a helpful link below: https://agr.wa.gov/

Equipment Cleaning Checklist



  1. Featherman Pro Automatic Picker: Unplug picker from electricity to prevent shocks and injury.  Spray down the outside and inside of the picker drum (do NOT wet the motor assembly). Remove all feathers from up inside the feather escape chute - feathers left behind will rot and become quite stinky! Remove feathers from between the drum and the rubber fingers. HINT: gently bend the fingers over near their base to pull feathers from underneath. Do not bend over all the way, or near the top, or they will break off! Rinse the inside of the drum again after removing feathers.
  2. Featherman Scalder: Unplug the scalder from electricity. Disconnect scalder from propane. Drain the scalder. Rinse off (do NOT wet the external control box), then scrub with soapy water INSIDE & OUT including dried blood and stuck-on feathers, and rinse again.
  3. Broiler Kill Cones & Base: Scrub with soapy water and rinse thoroughly, inside and outside. Be sure all blood, feathers, etc. are removed.  Dry, then nest cones gently one inside the other. Please do not jam them together.

Equipment Specs & Item List

Featherman Pro Automatic Picker and Featherman Scalder

For efficient harvest of farm raised poultry.

  • The equipment can handle birds ranging from 3 to 50 lbs and is limited to around 72 birds/hour depending on size.
  • The picker and scalder are easily transportable in the back of a small pickup and require minimal clean-up.
  • Chicken and turkey kill cones, and the dunker/shackle combo are also included in the rental.

Featherman PRO Plucker

Capacity: 3 – 50 poundsof birds, optimum 30 pounds
Tub diameter: 22 inches
Height: 36inches
Footprint: 25 x 28 inches
Weight: 125 lbs.
Motor: 1hp 115 Volts / 12 amps

Featherman Scalder

Weight: 115lbs
Dimensions: 34 x 34 x 35 in Dunker & Shackles
Weight: 16 lbs
Dimensions: 28 x 28 x 10 in

Kill Cones with Stand & Base

Weight: 55 lbs
Dimensions:46 x 37 x 32 in
Total Weight: 295 lbs

Terms & Conditions

Renter agrees to use equipment in a safe and careful manner, in accordance with the Usage Instructions provided by Snohomish Co-op. Renter agrees to pay the cost of repairing the equipment if damage to the equipment and/or its parts occurs due to an external cause or due to any negligence or any factor under the control of the Renter.  Renter agrees to replace any equipment not returned to Snohomish Co-op. Renter acknowledges that Snohomish Co-op is providing the equipment only.  Renter is responsible for providing all consumable materials including propane and propane tank, water, and electricity.

Renter will transport the equipment by use of an appropriately sized vehicle.  It is the responsibility of the Renter to secure load,transport equipment, and to return the equipment to the Snohomish Co-op. Failure to return the equipment or deliver it to the designated location shall result in a late or retrieval penalty of $28.00/day. Renter agrees to return the equipment in clean and usable condition according to the cleaning checklist.  Failure to clean the equipment adequately will result in a $28 cleaning charge.

Renter releases Snohomish Co-op from any and all liability arising from the use and/or transportation of the equipment. Snohomish Co-op shall not be liable for any personal injury or property damage occurring as a result of the use or transport of the equipment or any other loss or damage including but not limited to those resulting from (1) loss caused by theft, (2) accidental damage to persons or property from the operation or use of the equipment, (3) damage or injury resulting from the conduct of the Renter whether negligent or otherwise.

In the event injury or damage is not insured against, Renter shall pay for injury or damages at the sole expense of the Renter.  Renter agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Snohomish Co-op from any and all claims arising by virtue of the use of the equipment pursuant to this agreement.  In the event Snohomish Co-op incurs any legal fees or other costs enforcing the terms of this agreement, Renter shall be responsible for all such fees and costs.

Renter acknowledges that Snohomish Co-op is not responsible for any public health issues arising from the use of this equipment.  If using the equipment for commercial poultry processing, the Renter is responsible for acquiring all state and local food safety permits and providing copies of those permits/licenses to Snohomish Co-op before equipment is released.  The priority of use and availability of equipment will be determined at the sole discretion of Snohomish Co-op

Scalder Instructions

— please read before operation

General Info

Scalding is the critical step in feather removal and you now have a machine designed to make it simple for you. Hook your rubber supply line hose to a propane tank. It is a brass, reverse-threaded connection. Do not over-tighten. Save the provided plastic cover on the hose end to protect your gas hose between uses. Hand tighten the 1" PVC valve provided for your drain port.

You are ready to fill with water. You may either fill with cold water and allow the water to heat overnight (it will take several hours to heat from 55 to 147 degrees) or fill it from your house supply hot water(usually 130 to 140 degrees) the morning of processing. Do not overfill the tank with water. Four birds will displace several gallons and there is no need to have the tank too full anyway. Four to six inches from the top is an adequate level. The water must at least cover the holes of the temperature sensing unit (about halfway up) for the machine to operate properly. Your scalder is preset to 147 degrees. This means the water temperature will cycle between about 145 and 150 degrees. Experience thus far indicates the scalder can maintain at least a 70-bird per hour rate. At this rate the burner never shuts down. It is very helpful to have a thermometer constantly reading your scald water temperature. This will help you know whether to lengthen or shorten the scald time a little. In either case, pulling wing feathers will soon make you an expert on when the chickens are ready to be plucked.

There are several factors which affect how fast the scalder will heat up initially and how fast it will reheat after scalding birds. Cover the top to prevent heat loss out of the top while heating up (and to keep your scalder clean between uses). Locate your scalder in a draft-free area. If this is impossible, do your best to block the burner from the draft. Drafts can make a big difference in temperature. Use cinder blocks or tiles, not wood, to block air flow to the burner.

Do not scald until the temperature is at least 143 degrees Fahrenheit. If you scald at a low temperature or for too short a time period and the feathers are not picking properly, simply re-scald the birds for a shorter period of time and pick again, it won't hurt the birds. This will save you from having to pluck more feathers on the gutting table.

Start Up Plug in to your normal 110V current ONLY AFTER LIGHTING PILOT.

Do not pass the electrical cord under the scalder.

Lighting the pilot flame

Turn the gas Control Valve knob to "Pilot" and push it in and hold it. It will take 60 to 90 seconds to purge air out of the gaslines and Control Valve on the first use. After 60 to 90 seconds push the Red Igniter Button. Look to see if the pilot is lit. If not, wait a few more seconds, and push the Red Igniter Button again.

After allowing the pilot flame to heat the thermocouple sensor for 30 seconds you may release the Control Valve knob and the pilot will stay lit by itself. Turn the Control Valve knob from "Pilot"to "On." If the burner does not light and the pilot flame goes out, repeat the process. If your unit is not equipped with an igniter use a match or lighter to light the pilot flame.


Turn the gas Control Valve knob to "Pilot" and push it in and hold it. It will take 60 to 90 seconds to purge air out of the gaslines and Control Valve on the first use. After 60 to 90 seconds push the Red Igniter Button. Look to see if the pilot is lit. If not, wait a few more seconds, and push the Red Igniter Button again.

After allowing the pilot flame to heat the thermocouple sensor for 30 seconds you may release the Control Valve knob and the pilot will stay lit by itself. Turn the Control Valve knob from "Pilot"to "On." If the burner does not light and the pilot flame goes out, repeat the process. If your unit is not equipped with an igniter use a match or lighter to light the pilot flame.

Clean Up

Remember you are dealing with gas, water and electricity. Think safety first in the way you set up and during operation. Keep electric cords and gas lines out of the way. Keep any other electric appliances away from the scalder.

The built-in chimney improves airflow and retains more heat. Position your scalder so that the chimney cannot be touched accidentally. THE CHIMNEY WILL GET VERY HOT AND CAN CAUSE SERIOUS BURNS. Do not operate your scalder without water in the tank. General Operation We recommend scalding up to four birds at a time for about 1 minute at 147 degrees F. Birds pick differently between batches but this is the ideal starting point. Adjust accordingly from there.

Add a few tablespoons of dish detergent or Shaklees Basic H Soap to help the water penetrate initially and add more as needed during operation. Dunk the birds in and out of the water 8 to 10 times depending on water temperature. You may do this by hand or with a homemade lever and shackle or with one of the Featherman dunking mechanisms we provide. Be sure to expose the entire bird to the scalding water. After 150 or 200 birds the scald water must be changed.