Strengthen Local Agriculture with a Mobile Slaughterhouse

Before jumping into building a mobile slaughterhouse business, consider the economic sustainability of your initiative.

| August 2015

  • Chickens
    Using a mobile slaughterhouse eliminates the stress and expense of shipping live animals, and brings clean, professional slaughter services to small farmers.
    Photo by Fotolia/flucas
  • The Mobile Poultry Slaughterhouse
    Ali Berlow offers step-by-step instructions for building, crewing, and operating a mobile slaughterhouse in “The Mobile Poultry Slaughterhouse,” drawing on her own experiences implementing such a unit in Massachusetts.
    Cover courtesy Storey Publishing

  • Chickens
  • The Mobile Poultry Slaughterhouse

In The Mobile Poultry Slaughterhouse (Storey, 2013), Ali Berlow provides a solution to the lack of good slaughtering options for small-scale chicken farmers. A safe, clean, mobile slaughterhouse returns autonomy to the farmers, as well as minimizing the stress and expense of transporting live animals. The following excerpt is from chapter 2, “Money In and Money Out.”

You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: The Mobile Poultry Slaughterhouse.

"The other birds that you can buy in the supermarket are based on overall efficiencies. And those efficiencies are based on price point. My efficiency is based on an ethical system." — Jefferson Munroe, The Good Farm

Is a mobile unit or a small slaughterhouse economically sustainable in your community? If so, what business model in this agricultural environment makes sense for today and for the future, accounting for growth? Where will you sell the product, who is going to buy it, and for how much?

At IGI [Island Grown Initiative] we have found that the mini version, a Lilliputian MPPT [Mobile Poultry Processing Trailer], is the perfect answer in terms of size-appropriate technology to jump-start production of local poultry. In the first year of operating the MPPT under permit #417, $80–90,000 circulated locally; the second year, $120–140,000; the third year closed out at around $200,000. these approximate numbers reflect:

• money earned by the Crew
• slaughterhouse processing fees that would’ve otherwise gone elsewhere (just hypothetical because there isn't a poultry slaughterhouse in our region)
• the sales of chickens (farmer revenue)

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