Great jobs come in the most surprising places. Becoming a Live Hanger at a poultry processing plant probably wasn’t at the top of your “dream jobs” list as a kid, but here’s the deal. The economy is unpredictable and unstable. Anything could happen, and nothing is a guarantee. But…the world will always need to eat, and chicken is an affordable, nutritious and delicious staple that is here to stay. In other words, a job in poultry is dependable, no matter what happens in the world. Poultry Hanger positions are readily available and a great way to make a living or earn the experience you need to get to the next step in your career. 

What is the job description of a Live Hanger?

If you’re looking for a straightforward job that doesn’t require confusing math, complex technology or anything too complicated, you’ll love the job description of a chicken hanger. For this job, you simply pick up live chickens and put them in a device that holds their feet (typically called “shackles” on a hydraulic bar). Sometimes, you may control the hydraulic bar to make sure it is continuously moving. That’s it! 

What is the salary of a Live Hanger?

A Live Hanger can expect to make between $9 and $14 per hour, but Live Hanger workers could make more than this. Like anything else, your pay will depend on your location (since some states and cities pay more than others) as well as the company you work with and your level of skill. 

In addition to pay, many poultry workers receive great benefits. Benefits are important to factor into your pay, since having great benefits allows you to spend less on things like medical care and keep more of your paycheck for your own living expenses. Ōnin Staffing offers poultry positions in many of our locations, and incredible benefits are provided to all of our Teammates. 

What does a Live Hanger do?

Live Hangers have an important role in any poultry processing factory. Before grocery stores can sell chicken to the world, chickens need to be put on the processing line. Live Hangers kick this process off by picking chickens up and placing the chickens in foot straps. It’s that simple. Live Hangers don’t do anything that hurts, maims or kills the chicken. Their job is simply the first step in the process. Each step in a poultry plant’s process is designed to make the process as painless and as comfortable as possible for the chickens. 

What kind of job qualifications do Live Hangers need?

Live Hangers typically don’t need to meet any educational or background requirements, although having a high school or GED as well as a clean background may give you an advantage. Some companies may require prior experience or prefer candidates with prior experience. You also don’t need a specific skill set to get started, so getting a position as an entry-level Live Hanger is easy. If you have a good attitude and don’t mind rolling up your sleeves to do a job that requires you to be on the move, you can do this job! This position can also be a great way to get a foot in the door for other poultry positions that require more advanced skills. 

Can you get a job as a Live Hanger in a poultry plant with a criminal conviction?

Poultry plants are great places for workers with felony or misdemeanor charges to re-enter the workforce and start building work experience. Many companies in the poultry industry are only interested in hiring workers who have good attitudes, good attendance and are willing to work.

What is the job description of a Live Hanger?

A common job description for a Live Hanger position will often sound something like this: 

The Live Hanger worker quickly and effectively hangs live birds by the legs within a moving shackle line, ensuring the line is full. Live Hangers must handle birds gently and ensure birds’ legs are secured within shackles. They must always use required PPE and work in compliance with all company policies, NCC Animal Welfare Guidelines, and local, state and federal policies, laws and regulations.

What are other kinds of jobs available in the poultry industry?

There are tons of jobs in the poultry industry. From veterinarians to expert cutters, to mechanics to line workers, to HR, there’s a job in poultry for just about every kind of skillset or interest. Jobs are also available for people with backgrounds that range from having only entry-level skills to having a bachelor’s degree and beyond. It’s fair to say the poultry industry has opportunities open for a wide range of interests, skills and talents. 

  • Production/processing/poultry worker
  • Cutters
  • Production supervisor
  • Production superintendent
  • Plant Manager
  • Poultry Breeder
  • Hatchery Technician
  • Farm/Ranch worker
  • Grain Operator
  • Control Room Operator
  • Machiner Operator
  • Utilities Worker
  • Maintenance Mechanic
  • Brine Mixer Operator
  • Marination Technician
  • Food and Safety Janitor
  • HR Specialist
  • Shipping and Receiving Specialist
  • Driver
  • Nurse

What are other career paths for a Live Hanger?

If you begin as a Live Hanger, you have the potential to work your way into a number of jobs, depending on the plant you work at and the number of opportunities available in your location. Often, poultry plants are happy to allow hard-working members of their team to advance within their company. As a hanger, you may have an opportunity to advance as a production worker, specialist cutter job, and maybe even transition to a leadership role, like plant supervisor or plant manager. Take your career one step at a time though, focusing on doing a great job at whatever role you currently have and trying to take on additional responsibilities when possible. 

The poultry industry has tons of opportunities for people with a wide range of skills and interests. The Hanger position is a great position for entry-level and experienced workers to work within a thriving industry. Interested in seeing what kinds of jobs in the poultry industry are available? Find and call your local Ōnin Staffing office and ask them what opportunities are available today. We’d love to hear from you!