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How poultry plants work

Receiving and killing

Evisceration and inspection

Cutting and deboning

Processing and packout

Sanitation and cleaning

Chickens move along the line from station to station, as workers take the birds from living animal to finished product.

Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office

Infographic by Huiqi Xu


Sanitation/cleaning worker: May work during production or as part of a "third shift" or late night cleaning crew. Often removes machine components to clean equipment.

Box maker: Takes or makes boxes and puts them on the line.

Industrial/tractor operator: Drives forklifts or other vehicles to move goods around the facility.

Warehouse worker: Loads boxes in and out of coolers and operates forklifts to move loaded pallets onto trucks.

Cone line feeder: Workers remove the carcasses from the shackles and insert them onto cones on a different line.

Tender puller: Workers pull tenders from both sides of a deboned breast.

Presenter: Workers remove the viscera, or the internal organs, from the body cavity and arrange them for USDA inspection.

Live hanger: Workers take live birds from the line and hang them in shackles:

Live Hanger
(Source: https://jamanetwork.com/data/Journals/DERM/24789/dob120005f4.png)