The science of turning raw poultry into grocery-ready meals

US - Wayne Farms recently completed the first of three phases of its Further Processing plant on Plugs Drive in Southwest Decatur. It cost $55 million, and the company will spend another $55 million by the time it has completed the next two phases.

Wayne Farms hatches chickens. Then it feeds them. Then it transports them in trucks — the ones with feathers flying out the back — to Decatur. Wayne Farms then kills them and, to use its term, "disassembles" them.

A lot of good things are going on at Further Processing East (catchy name, isn't it?), but one of the best is probably that it involves no feathers. By the time the disassembled chicken reaches this facility, it looks a whole like what you put on the grill on warm summer nights.

The astonishing characteristic of the plant is its technology. We're talking about cooking and breading hunks of chicken, but it may be the most technologically advanced plant in Morgan County. It processes 120,000 chickens every day. In a year, it churns out 20 million pounds of diced and stripped meat, and the same amount of filets, tenders and wings.

Wayne Farms is distant from the old days when my grandfather used a hatchet and, after tossing the head to the dogs, hand-delivered the bird to the disassembly line, namely my grandmother.

Source: Decatur Daily
calendar icon 1 May 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
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