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Thread: Free range chicken processing

  1. #1
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    Free range chicken processing

    An area realtor put a query about "free-range" chicken processing. A vacant sewing plant adjacent to mostly residential areas with 24000 SF has his interest. Clients want to set up to process birds from small producers whose birds "run free" and roost in wheeled "coops" that are closed and hauled to processor when birds are grown. Subject parcel's zone category includes "materials" processing, but don't think animals are implied.

    I assured him that the use proposal would undergo public hearing and would likely require rezoning, conditional use, or both.

    Anyone here have experience with similar "New Age" food production operations?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by fringe View post
    An area realtor put a query about "free-range" chicken processing. ... Subject parcel's zone category includes "materials" processing, but don't think animals are implied.

    I assured him that the use proposal would undergo public hearing and would likely require rezoning, conditional use, or both.

    Anyone here have experience with similar "New Age" food production operations?
    Whether the bird is raised in a tiny coop unable to stand or turn around, or spent the entirety of its happy life running free in the bucolic sunlight, surrounded by bunnies and puppies while munching on chemical-free and contented bugs is immaterial to how it is processed in the plant.

    The issue is exactly the same as any animal rendering plant and whether the zoning allows. And when presented to the public and all your commissions, how the bird is shipped, dispatched, processed, and offal disposed of is exactly the same in any and all rendering situations, and how the neighbors react to rezoning to allow an animal rendering plant is how it should be framed for consideration. IMHO.

    .02

    (No animals were harmed in the construction of this reply.)
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    The technology exists to make meat processing plants relatively innocuous with regard to smells and odors, but that technology has to be installed and maintained properly for the life of the plant. IF you allow a meat processing plant to move adjacent to a residential area you should stipulate that a certain air quality MUST be maintained at all times and the municipality has the power to shut the plant down if it does not comply.

    The biggest problem is loading and unloading. The building itself can be made relatively airtight but the trucks coming and going can be revolting. Therefore the loading docks should be within the building, the access route to the site should not go through the residential area and the trucks used should be fully-enclosed if at all possible.

    I suspect the cost of ensuring that the plant is not a nuisance to the neighbours will be so much that it will be cheaper for the company to find another site in a rural area.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.

    ColoGI I appreciate sarcasm much as the next fellow, and surely the realtor knows he has a difficult sell of the idea.

    Certainly the only chance that such an operation would be inoffensive to the closest neighbors lies in the reduction in scale of the activity.

    This story reminds me of one I heard about a chicken plant our State Department spent several million dollars on in Iraq in 2009, only to find out that there was almost no chicken growing going on at a level that would supply such a state of the art facility, nor was there a refrigerated distribution capability to get the product to market, nor was there a consumer base that would buy the product. Undeterred in their propaganda mission, the managers of the local occupation, whenever a dignitary from the US would visit, would send out for 25 or 50 chickens to run through the plant as a demonstration of the techno-wonders the Occupation was bestowing on the Iraqi people.

    Here's a link to the book author's blog. http://wemeantwell.com/

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by fringe View post
    Thanks for the replies.

    ColoGI I appreciate sarcasm much as the next fellow, and surely the realtor knows he has a difficult sell of the idea.
    ;o)

    Go git 'em.
    -------
    Give a man a gun, and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob the world.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by fringe View post
    Thanks for the replies.

    ColoGI I appreciate sarcasm much as the next fellow, and surely the realtor knows he has a difficult sell of the idea.

    Certainly the only chance that such an operation would be inoffensive to the closest neighbors lies in the reduction in scale of the activity.

    This story reminds me of one I heard about a chicken plant our State Department spent several million dollars on in Iraq in 2009, only to find out that there was almost no chicken growing going on at a level that would supply such a state of the art facility, nor was there a refrigerated distribution capability to get the product to market, nor was there a consumer base that would buy the product. Undeterred in their propaganda mission, the managers of the local occupation, whenever a dignitary from the US would visit, would send out for 25 or 50 chickens to run through the plant as a demonstration of the techno-wonders the Occupation was bestowing on the Iraqi people.

    Here's a link to the book author's blog. http://wemeantwell.com/

    I'm with ColoGI on this. The processing is done the very same way no matter the source of the chickens or their earlier life styles.

    IMO, the "free range chicken" angle is simply a ploy to head-off opposition to the rendering plant by implying that this is some kind of "green" industry. The realtor may also be looking at various incentives available for "green industries". It could also be an attempt to open the plant for "free range chickens", and then expand to other kinds of animals with claims that "the plant cannot continue to operate without expansion and x workers will lose their jobs if that happens".

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