PoultryUSA - August 2018 - 16
16 ❙ WATTPoultryUSA
How preventing wing flapping
improves chicken processing
Wing flapping can harm broilers and result in poorer-quality
EDUARDO CERVANTES LÓPEZ
There are several phases during harvesting and processing where broilers are likely to flap their wings
and potentially affect the quality of the final processed
carcass. Paying particular attention during these operations, however, can help to maximize the volumes of
Grade A processed chicken.
Allowing birds to excessively flap their wings will cause bruises
and bleeds. | Eduardo Cervantes López
Broilers will react to the behavior of the harvesting
team. Birds tend to move around the poultry house slowly, and so the catching team should do so in the same way.
A failure to do so will result in birds panicking and
rushing toward the side walls. This panic sees them take
short flights and jump on top of each other. This may not
only result in scratching but also suffocation and death.
When birds take these short flights, the large pectoral muscle responsible for moving the wings is stressed
more than the minor muscle, given that the latter is
not fully extended. This exerts pressure on the blood
vessels and they may break, with the escaping blood
resulting in a bruise.
Some veins may simply be weakened. The impact
of this on breast meat quality may not be immediately
apparent; however, this weakening of the vessels may
have consequences during processing.
When birds are stunned, some of the weakened
blood vessels will burst, in the same way that some of
the fragile bones in the thorax may also break. When
this occurs immediately prior to slaughter, any bleed
will retain a bright red color.
If birds are crowded together and flap their wings,
damage can occur externally and internally, particularly where the humerus meets the ulna and radius, and
these repeated impacts can result in bruising.
The wings are the most delicate part of the broiler's
body. This is why chickens should not be caught by the
legs - allowing the wings to flap - but by the body,
with the wings pressed gently to the abdomen.
This same care needs to be demonstrated when
placing birds into cages or other containers for transport, without compromising the speed of operation.
Poultry processing requires mix
of expertise, automation
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ August 2018