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Program Contact: , Interim County Director
(253) 798-3296

Knutson cover cropPierce County has strong historical agricultural roots and has blossomed today into a vibrant and healthy part of the economy. With deep, fertile soils and a maritime climate the County’s agricultural sector is set for future expansion to meet the growing demand for locally grown agricultural products.

2007 Census of Agriculture Pierce County Statistics – WA NASS

Washington State University Extension Pierce County Agriculture Program is involved in educational support and field-based research to improve the sustainability of county commercial producers.

Poultry Processing

The information provided in this website is our interpretation of current state a county laws. If there is a conflict between what is written and what is contained in law, the applicable law prevails.

If you have any questions about the information presented here or general questions about raising poultry in Pierce County, please contact:

WSU Pierce County Extension

(253) 798-3296

Growing consumer demand for locally grown, humanely-raised, organic and/or pastured meat creates new opportunities for small-scale poultry producers. Careful planning and a good understanding of the regulations surrounding the processing, handling, and marketing of poultry meat is essential. With the proper license or permit, a producer can sell his or her poultry meat to retail outlets such as restaurants, grocery stores, and farmers markets, or straight from the farm.


The Mason County Small Farms Program operates a Poultry Processing Equipment Lending Program (PPELP). For $25 per day, you can borrow a scalder, plucker, and kill cones to process your own birds.  Whether you are processing birds for your own consumption or for commercial sale, this equipment is available to producers in Mason and surrounding counties.

For more information about the program, you can  contact Ron Cummings at (360) 427-9436 x112 or

Here is a list of other processing equipment lending programs:

Thurston County & Surrounding Counties
Thurston Conservation District: Tumwater, WA
(360) 754-3588  |

Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, & Whatcom Counties
Northwest Agriculture Business Center | Mt. Vernon, WA
(360) 336-3727 or (888) 707-2021  |

Whatcom County
Whatcom Pastured Poultry Group | Bellingham, WA
(360) 384-4821

Benton County & Surrounding Counties
CG Ranch | Benton City, WA
(509) 723-1621

Pierce County & Surrounding Counties
Pierce Conservation District | Puyallup, WA
(253) 845-9770 x104 or x 112

Kitsap County
Kitsap Poultry Growers Cooperative | Silverdale, WA
You must be a member of the cooperative to use the equipment  |


Poultry processing in the United States is regulated by the Federal Poultry Products Inspection Act. This includes chicken, geese, duck, turkey and other domesticated birds raised for meat.

In Washington State, there are currently two ways that small-scale poultry producers may be exempted from this Act. One is the WSDA Special Poultry Permit and the other is by getting a WSDA Food Processors License.

Please click HERE to link to the FACT SHEET: Washington State Poultry Processing Regulations.  This publication will help you select and  obtaining the proper licenses and permits to slaughter and sell your own poultry.


The following video was made during a Hands On Poultry Processing Workshop in the Summer of 2009. These workshops were funded by a grant from Heifer International. They were part of a larger project called, ‘Realizing the Potential for Pastured Poultry in Local Food Systems’. The group that managed this grant project consisted of individuals from Mason Conservation District, WSDA Small Farms & Direct Marketing Program, and The Evergreen State College Organic Farm. The video was produced by Doug Collins, WSU Puyallup. The purpose of these workshops were to encourage local producers to acquire the skills necessary to process their own poultry and procure the proper licenses to sell those poultry commercially.

PLEASE NOTE: This footage contains scenes of the humane slaughter of chickens. All precautions were taken to ensure the safety and humane treatment of both the animals and the humans participating in this process.

Click HERE to see the Video.

Here is a link to several videos on the Featherman Equipment Website:


Eggs are a popular item to direct market and are a relatively easy enterprise to begin. Flocks under 3,000 hens are USDA grade exempt and fall under state law. Washington egg sales are specified in the “Washington wholesome eggs and egg products act,” RCW 69.25. An “egg” refers to the shell egg of chickens, turkeys, ducks,geese, guinea fowl and any other species of poultry.

For information about regulations for selling eggs in Washington State, click HERE to link to the WSDA Small Farm & Direct Marketing Handbook.


American Pastured Poultry Producers Association:

Featherman Video Demos:

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service:

Niche Meat Processors Assistance Network:

Sustainable Poultry:

WSDA Food Safety Program:

WSDA Organic Food Program:

WSDA Small Farms and Direct Marketing Program:

Washington State University Small Farms:

Washington State University Organic Farming Systems & Nutrient Management, Pastured Poultry:

WSDA Small Farm & Direct Marketing Handbook:

Additional Contact Information

For agricultural extension questions in Pierce County during normal business hours, call (253) 798-3296