Image Number 4 for United States Patent #5108345.
Apparatus and method for mechanizing the loading of live fowl onto shackles of an overhead conveyor used in poultry processing. Live fowl are placed on a moving conveyor belt moving alongside the shackles. A succession of bird loading stations move with the bird conveyor belt and position the feet of each bird in predetermined relation with corresponding shackles. A foot folder engages the feet of the bird, confining the digits of the feet for unimpeded entry into the shackle. The shackles then are moved toward the bird conveyor to position the feet in the loops of the shackle, after which the shackles are elevated with respect to the bird conveyor to engage the feet within the shackles.