Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 74)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on November 21, 2007

U.S. Pat. No. 5,134,971:  Live fowl conveyor.

JW Note:  Happy Thanksgiving 2007 from Anticipate This!

  turkeyconveyor

What is claimed is:

1. Apparatus for conveying live fowl to be inoculated, inseminated, debeaked, or to have another operation performed on them, comprising:

(a) a base;
(b) a pair of spindles, one spindle mounted at each of opposite ends of said base;
(c) a generally horizontally-disposed, moving conveyor surface supported by said base and defined by an endless web encircling said spindles, said conveyor surface for receiving thereon fowl which are to have an operation performed on them; and
(d) means for holding a bird in a defined position on said conveyor service, said holding means including:
(i) a first elongated member, disposed generally parallel to said conveyor surface, spaced upward a desired distance from a lateral edge of said conveyor surface;
(ii) a second elongated member, disposed generally parallel to said first elongated member, spaced upward from said first elongated member to define a generally horizontal slot therebetween;
(iii) means for varying the vertical distance between said first and second elongated members; and
(iv) a multiplicity of cleats moving along said slot at generally the same speed at which said conveyor surface moves, each of said cleats having a vertical dimension to span said slot;
(e) wherein, when a bird is placed on said conveyor surface with its breast in engagement with said surface, legs of the bird are fed into said slot at an entrance end thereto and conveyed along said slot by one or more of said cleats at substantially the same speed as that at which the bird is conveyed by said conveyor surface.

2. Apparatus for conveying live fowl to be inoculated, inseminated, debeaked, or to have another operation performed on them, comprising:

(a) a base;
(b) a pair of spindles, one spindle mounted at each of opposite ends of said base;
(c) a generally horizontally-disposed, moving conveyor surface supported by said base and defined by an endless web encircling said spindles, said conveyor surface for receiving thereon fowl which are to have an operation performed on them; and
(d) means for holding a bird in a defined position on said conveyor service, said holding means including;
(i) a first elongated member, disposed generally parallel to said conveyor surface, spaced upward a desired distance from a lateral edge of said conveyor surface;
(ii) a second elongated member, disposed generally parallel to said first elongated member, spaced upward from said first elongated member to define a generally horizontal slot therebetween; and
(iii) a multiplicity of cleats, comprising a series of tabs mounted, at intervals, to an endless vulcanized rubber belt geared to one of said spindles, moving along said slot at generally the same speed at which said conveyor surface moves, each of said cleats having a vertical dimension to span said slot; and
(e) wherein, when a bird is placed on said conveyor surface with its breast in engagement with said surface, legs of the bird are fed into said slot at an entrance end thereto and conveyed along said slot by one or more of said cleats at substantially the same speed as that at which the bird is conveyed by said conveyor surface.

3. Apparatus for conveying live fowl to be inocculated, inseminated, debeaked, or to have another operation performed on them, comprising:

(a) a generally horizontally-disposed, moving conveyor surface on which fowl to have an operation performed on them are placed; and
(b) means for holding a bird in a defined position on said conveyor surface, said holding means including;
(i) a first elongated member, disposed generally parallel to said conveyor surface, spaced upward a desired distance from a lateral edge of said conveyor surface;
(ii) a second elongated member, disposed generally parallel to said first elongated member, spaced upward from said first elongated member to define a generally horizontal slot therebetween;
(iii) means for varying the vertical distance between said first and second elongated members; and
(iv) a multiplicity of cleats moving along said slot at generally the same speed at which said conveyor surface moves, each of said cleats having a vertical dimension to span said slot;
(c) wherein, when a bird is placed on said conveyor surface with its breast in engagement with said surface, legs of the bird are fed into said slot at an entrance end thereto and conveyed along said slot by one or more of said cleats at substantially the same speed as that at which the bird is conveyed by said conveyor surface.

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