Inside a Chicken Processing Plant   Next

Perdue's processing plant in Accomac, Va., is the largest plant in Delmarva. It is also one of the most technologically advanced; many of the highly spacialized tasks one performed by hand have been automated. The plant employs 1,650 workers and processes some 320,000 chickens each day. Although processing techniques can vary from plant to plant, the following is an example of how the process works in Accomac:

1. Eggs
Many processing plants own hatcheries. Eggs are stacked in trays that automatically rotate 45 degrees every 60 minutes. After 21 days, the chicks hatch. They are then misted with vaccine to immunize them against poultry diseases. (1 of 14)

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Source: Perdue Farms Inc.  Reporting by Brenna Maloney,
photographs by Frank Johnston, graphic by Laura Stanton–The Washington Post

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