Poultry Loading & Unloading

In 1960, as the size of chicken houses began to grow, there became an ever increasing need for full time catching crews. Due to the nature of the job many individuals are not willing to do such a thing day in and day out. For John Melhorn and wife Sandi, this was not the case. John and Sandi both ran poultry catching crews up until the early 1980′s. At that point in time, as the trucking end of things became a bigger part of the business, John and Sandi left the chicken house and began to manage the jobs from the newly built site on Main Street in Mount Joy. Foremen were hired to run the crews and manage the day to day operations in the houses. Three of our foremen have been with us since that time. We currently have five foremen who run an unloading crew and loading crew for catching live poultry everyday. Our crews are trained in the humane treatment of birds, and our foremen are always looking at the quality of bird handling. A low mortality rate for you is our highest goal along with efficiency. Our foremen are also aware that a minute wasted in the chicken house equates to a higher bill for the farmer. Our foremen are conscious to the tight budget of their customers and do their best to complete the job from day to day as fast as possible while also doing things right.

Our crews travel in fifteen passenger vans and, if necessary, are equipped with disinfected coveralls, gloves, masks, hairnets and boots. Our vans are washed and disinfected every night upon return from a job. We are very conscious of the dangers of spreading disease from flock to flock and we strive to keep our equipment clean for just that reason.

Each foreman is also equipped with a fan trailer for those hot summer days when temperatures are up close to 100 and the birds begin to pant the instant they leave the chicken house door. Our fans blow air over the chickens to keep them from smothering. Over the past 8 summers we have been using these fans and they have proven to be very effective in decreasing the amount of dead on arrivals during the hot summer months.