Ali Berlow’s new book, “Building a Mobile Poultry Slaughterhouse” is a 144 page manual for building a humane, mobile chicken-processing unit. She shares her experience of establishing an MPPT (mobile poultry processing trailer) on Martha’s Vineyard as a kind of recipe for how other communities can create their own, economically viable facility. From gathering the potential players, to sample agendas for meetings, to using social media to engage the larger community, to getting a permit, Berlow’s book provides great examples for solving problems you might encounter on your own path.
Berlow’s mobile facility is a response to the difficulties small farmers face when it comes to processing their birds. Currently 4 companies control about 60% of the processing market, and small-scale plants are almost extinct, stifling the growth of the increasing number of new, small-scale farmers. That this could be a viable solution is demonstrated by the impact the MPPT had on Berlow’s home island. Before the MPPT, island farmers were raising about 200 birds. In 2012, 9,000 broilers were raised, slaughtered and sold resulting in $180,000 in gross revenue to the farmers and $40,000 in salaries for the Chicken Crew, and of course, plenty of good meat for local residents.
The Mobile Poultry Slaughterhouse is available at Amazon.com. It includes:
- Step-by-step instructions for assembling the materials and building the unit
- How to take a crew through the entire process of killing and processing the first chicken
- A guide to preparing for the board-of-health inspection
- The author’s personal account of the unit’s implementation and success in Massachusetts
- Checklists and to-do lists for the well-prepared farmer
The paperback version is $12.15 or Kindle version is $9.95.