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The Chicken Eviscerator

Updated on April 5, 2010
Prepping for Evisceration
Prepping for Evisceration

The chickens went by at a rate of almost 1 per second. We were almost always behind schedule, so the conveyor was almost always at its maximum speed. It's hard to eviscerate at a rate of 1 chicken per second. My fingers would go numb from the cold and constantly cramp up. Not only were the chickens freezing cold at this stage in the process, but I worked in a freezer.

 

Tyson's Chicken!
Tyson's Chicken!
Freezer Conveyor
Freezer Conveyor

My official job title was Eviscerator. I alternated between being an Eviscerator and a Hanger. Both jobs sucked. Eviscerator sounds pretty cool, but it's really not. There were numerous Eviscerators at Tyson's chicken plant in Arkansas.

My evisceration duties consisted of standing on a platform next to the conveyor and pulling the fat out of the chicken butts as they went by at an incredible rate. I occasionally missed a chicken here and there, as I couldn't always keep up, especially at 1 chicken per second. I only have two hands. When I pulled the fat out of the chicken butts, I simply let it land on the floor. During break someone would come wash the fat from the floor.

Live Conveyor
Live Conveyor
Headless Chicken
Headless Chicken

I had a nice little bucket of warm water to dip my gloved hands in to warm them up. The chicken butts were freezing cold, as the chickens arrive on ice to the Hanging Station. When I worked as a Hanger, I had to pull the chickens out of a large bin that was constantly refilled with more chickens. I had to grab each chicken and quickly mount it by both legs on the conveyor hooks. We typically had two Hangers at times when the conveyor was going 1 chicken per second.

The guys that worked in the "live" area had it the worst. The Eviscerators there had to deal with warm, stinky, entrails. A little chicken butt fat evisceration sounded easier, but less exciting. The Live Eviscerators always had interesting stories because after the chicken heads were removed, the chickens still moved around a lot. This made the Live Eviscerator jobs exciting and challenging. The Live Eviscerators often had to chase down and catch the chickens (with or without heads) that managed to get out of the conveyor hooks.

At breaks, they stopped the conveyor and did clean up. This was when I got to hear the cool Live Eviscerator stories. In comparison, my evisceration stories were lame. It's not like I ever found anything exciting in a cold chicken butt. A good story for me was something like, "Harlin, that chicken sure had a lot of fat....did you see how much I eviscerated?"

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    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Yuk yuk yuk I think chicken is ff the menu at my house!

    • cjcarter profile image

      cjcarter 8 years ago

      I never really thought about how my grilled chicken gets from the farm to my plate...I bet you have some great stories

    • AllanChan profile image

      AllanChan 7 years ago from Singapore And UK

      i used to like the parson's nose (the pope's nose) until like this very minute..

    • profile image

      Zrcalo 7 years ago

      wow! this was exactly what I was looking for! I'm actually thinking about becoming an animal eviscerator as a career choice.

      that's really rough doing one chicken per second. I think I would probably wear insulated gloves under the rubber ones.

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