Poultry Processing

These days people like to raise their own chickens, turkeys, geese, and ducks...but few enjoy the task of butchering.  One of the many great things we offer is doing the job of custom processing!  We can do any amount,  from a couple up to several hundred.  We butcher, process, and package your poultry.  Once they are completely processed, you can come back and collect your finished product. 


As of January 1st, 2019, we do not provide an MN state-inspected poultry and rabbit processing service.  We will continue to process as a custom plant.  The product you bring us to process is only for your use. 


Plants with "Custom Processing" or "Custom Exempt" status DO NOT have an on-site inspection of the birds as they are processed. The processed birds can only go back to the owner for home consumption. It is NOT possible to sell the processed birds at farmer's markets, restaurants, grocery stores, etc...

Click the form below to print off our Custom Poultry Processing Work Order Form before you bring your birds 

Custom Poultry Work Order.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [382.5 KB]

2024 Poultry Processing Prices

Prices Effective May 1st, 2024 (prices are subject to change without notice on website)


Chicken (Less than 7 lbs)----$4.50/Bird

Chicken (Greater than 7 lbs)---$0.85/lb




Pheasants, Chukar Partridge, Guineas---$4.50/Bird




Additional Costs

(these are all optional for you and are in addition to the bird/rabbit)

Giblets (heart, liver, gizzard-any or all)---$0.75/Bird, Separate Giblet Packaging $0.75/Bag

A cutting (most common is 1/2, 1/4, 8 piece, or pieced)---$1.75/Bird

Boning (taking meat off the thighs or breast)---$1.00/Bird

Grinding (grinding boneless meat)---$0.75/lb

Drumming Wings -- $0.50/Bird

Feet--(we reserve the right to omit feet from any order if they aren't in good condition)---$0.25/foot

Extra bags (any bag over 1/bird)---$0.75/bag

Boxing $3.00/Box


Payment types accepted: Cash, Check (made out to NelsonShine Produce) Debit/ Credit Cards (with 4% charge finance fee)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between Custom Processing and E2 Processing?
    • Custom processing is when you use your product at home after it has been processed.  E2 means Equal to Inspection.  In E2 processing, a state inspector is present to observe each bird before and during slaughter.  If he/she sees an issue with the bird, it will be flagged.  If you are going to sell your product to anyone (farmer's market, friends, restaurant, meat market, etc...) it MUST be done under inspection by a state inspector.  Any product not sold under inspection cannot be resold. We currently do not do E2 processing.


  • When can I get my birds processed?  
    • We process on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week.  We ask that you call a minimum of 2 weeks before when they will be ready.  We will need the number of birds to be processed at the time of scheduling.


  • When will I bring my birds for processing?
    • We will have you bring your birds the night before they are processed.  For example, in processing for Monday, you would bring your birds Sunday night.  In the heat, it is best to transport birds during the coolest part of the day to decrease stress on the birds during travel.  You will be given a range of times to drop off your birds when you call to make your appointment.  This is usually between 5 and 7 PM.  If that won't work, please let us know so we can figure out alternate arrangements.  Please note that even though we live at the processing site, sometimes we aren't available for drop-off until 5 PM due to other commitments we may have going on.  To prevent you from having to wait for someone, please come at the scheduled time unless you have made arrangements with us.


  • What is the best way to bring my birds for processing?
    • Livestock trailers work well for large numbers of birds.  For a small number of birds, truck beds with mesh/wire covering work well.  DO NOT transport birds in toppers or enclosed dog kennels when it is hot out! They need airflow and should not be in direct sun.  We have crates/cages that we will put birds in when they arrive at our facility. We have crates that can be borrowed to use for transporting birds as well.  They are 2'x3' and 1' tall.  THey stack on top of each other and can be put in the back of a truck.  They will hold 6-8 birds, weighing 4-5 lbs. If you bring your cages, we will transfer your birds to our cages, and send your cages home with you.


  • A few of my birds died while we were transporting them.  Can they still be processed?
    • No. We will not process dead birds.


  • When can I pick up my birds?
    • When you drop off your birds, we'll talk about what our options are for processing (cutting, giblets, etc...).  All products must be completly processed before they can be sent home with you.  You will be given a specific time to pick your birds up when you drop them off so please be sure to keep your appointment.  Payment is due at the time of pick up. Please note that even though we live at the processing site, sometimes we aren't home due to other commitments we may have going on.  To prevent you from having to wait for someone, please come at the time that was set up at drop off.  


  • Do I need to do anything special when I pick my birds up?
    • Please bring containers to put them in  (boxes, coolers, bags, etc...).


  • How big will my birds be and what is considered "normal?"
    • Chickens have been processed in a wide variety of sizes.  "Normal" is usually between 4-5 lbs after processing.  On average, a Cornish Cross broiler will be about 75% of its live weight.  However, the older and larger the bird gets, the tougher the meat will be.


  • I have had people tell me to feed grit.  Do my chickens need it and why?
    • Grit is small rocks, pebbles, and sand that chickens (as well as most other birds) eat.  It is stored in their gizzard which is the organ that grinds the feed chickens eat.  Chickens who are not fed grit will have small gizzards and won't grow as well as chickens who are fed grit.  Grit is available at any store that carries feed and will give you well-grown birds.  Also, dirt from a road or driveway works well.


  • Should I make sure my chickens have feed when I bring them?
    • Birds should not be fed for 12 hours before bringing them in for processing.  They can have water available.  If they are fed too close to processing, the feed is wasted in feces in the digestive tract and makes the birds more difficult to clean.


  • I have other questions, who should I contact?
    • Ron and Barb would love to schedule your birds to be processed or answer any other questions you might have!
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