Installing Electric for Chicken Scalder
September 5th, 2013 · 2 Comments · Posted in farming
We’ve scheduled September 25 to slaughter and dress our 23 Freedom Ranger broilers. That involves killing the chickens, scalding them, removing the feathers, then gutting them out. We ordered a 14-gallon fiberglass scalder for the job. It has a 240-volt heating element in it, which is top of the line. But it also means installing a 240-volt outlet somewhere on the property where we can plug it in.
We want to keep all the slaughter mess away from the house so we plan to do the work out in the field near the permanent paddock where we have a water hydrant and a standard electrical outlet for a chicken plucker. That’s not too far from an outdoor breaker box that was established next to the driveway during the house construction some years ago.
After paying a visit to figure out exactly what kind of plug we have on the end of our new scalder, our electrician fashioned a 30-foot cord with a weather-proof receptacle on one end. He came back yesterday to install a 240-volt breaker and attach the other end of the cord. He’s a pretty smart guy. He also brought along a metal bracket that attaches to the post where the breaker box is mounted. We can use that to loop and store the long cable when we’re not using it.
Now when we want to scald chickens, we just unwind the cord, plug in the scalder, fill the tub with water and trip the breaker.
In case you’re wondering, we had thought about using a propane burner and a big pot–the kind you use for frying turkeys–for the scalding part of the operation. It would have cost much less than the electric setup, but also would have been much more problematic. Gas flames don’t do well in the wind and you have to adjust the flames constantly to make sure the water stays at the correct temperature (140-150 degrees Fahrenheit). The heating element in the electric scalder comes with a thermostat.
As you can see, there’s an expense involved every step of the way starting a livestock operation. Thankfully, ours is just a small one.