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 and even intimidating. 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 12:01pm 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)
  • 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  (Standard 110v outlet)
  • 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 and Using the Scalder

  1. Set the aquastat to 147.5 degrees. (Scald water will range between 145 to 150 degrees at this temperature setting.)
    (a.) If the water is too cool, the feathers will not release well, and you may have to leave the bird in longer, potentially resulting in partially cooking the bird
    (b.) If the water is too hot, you run the risk of cooking the bird and/or tearing the skin while plucking
  2. Ensure the water valve is closed prior to filling.  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)  The water must at least cover the holes of the temperature sensing unit (about halfway up) for the machine to operate properly.
  3. Connect electrical cord to power (110v). Do not pass the electrical cord under the scalder.
  4. Attach the rubber supply line hose to your own full propane tank (Not provided with rental). The connector is a brass, reverse-threaded connection. Do not over-tighten.
  5. Turn the dial by the propane hook up so it is set to “pilot”. Hold button/dial down for at least 60 seconds to clear the propane line.
  6. Ignite pilot light using lighter underneath the scalder through the opening on the control side of the scalder. (The pilot light is about 4-5 inches underneath the scalder.)
  7. Once Pilot Light is lit, release the dial to allow it to turn, then turn the dial so it is pointing to “on”. You should hear the burner flame below the scalder.
  8. Attach the dunking lever to the base of the tripod.
  9. Attach shackles (loops away from the operator). Adjust as needed.
  10. The scalder is ready to use once the water is up to the appropriate temperature 145-150 degrees fahrenheit)

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 of the scalder to prevent heat loss while heating up and to keep your scalder clean between uses. Locate your scalder in a draft-free area. If this option isn’t available, do your best to block the burner from the draft to increase heating efficiency. Do not use a material that can ignite, melt, or burn underneath or to block draft near the burner.

Do not scald until the temperature is at minimum 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.

Cautions Using the Scalder: 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 is on the side adjacent from the controls and you will be able to feel heat radiating from it. 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.

Dunk the birds in and out of the water 8 to 10 times depending on water temperature. We recommend using the shackle and Featherman dunking mechanisms we provide to ensure you don’t burn yourself with the hot water or surfaces. Be sure to expose the entire bird to the scalding water. After 150 or 200 birds the scald water must be changed for sanitary reasons.

Using the Scalder

Once the chickens have bled out, load chickens onto the Shackles. It can hold about 30 pounds. Load it so the weight is even on both sides for even dunking.

  1. Once the chickens have bled out, load chickens onto the Shackles. It can hold about 30 pounds. Load it so the weight is even on both sides for even dunking.
  2. Dunk the birds in about 6-7 cycles: Five seconds in, 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.

Clean Up: Allow the scalder to cool. Disconnect all power and propane supplies prior to draining. Drain the scalder by opening the water valve, scrub with soapy water and rinse. Don't spray the controls. Keep controls out of the weather and store covered.

Preparing the cones

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

Preparing the plucker

  1. Put the plucker close enough to the scalder so the dunking tripod can reach to drop the birds into once done scalding.
  2. Plug it in
  3. Attach the water hose to the valve on the plucker.

How to use the killing cones

  • Once the cones are prepped, pick up the bird gently around the body – holding the wings to the body. When handled in a calm 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, load chickens onto the chickens. 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 plucker.
  2. Hit the start switch of the plucker with your foot.
  3. Release the chickens from the loops of the shackles into the plucker.
  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 Snohomish store.  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 a series of informative videos demonstrating the equipment as well as how to process specific types of birds: https://www.feathermanequipment.com/how-to-videos/

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

Equipment Cleaning Checklist


Processing Equipmnt

  1. Featherman Pro Automatic Picker: Unplug plucker from electricity to prevent shocks and injury.  Spray down the outside and inside of the plucker 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: 36 inches
Footprint: 25 x 28 inches
Weight: 125 lbs.
Motor: 1 hp 115 Volts / 12 amps

Featherman Scalder

Weight: 115 lbs

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.