PoultryUSA - August 2018 - 29
6 POULTRY PROCESSING TIPS
tend to flap less. This can be achieved by shielding
them, using plastic or stainless steel sheets with only
necessary observation windows. Not only will less
flapping help to prevent wings being damaged, it will
also reduce additional blood flow.
Monitoring this part of operations will control the
number of birds downgraded or rejected due to bruising and blood accumulation.
Should birds become agitated prior to entering the
stunning bath, they will flap their wings and, if the entry
to the stunning bath is damp, any contact between the bird
and the damp surface will result in a pre-shock.
Should this occur, birds will become very excited,
flap intensely and lift their heads. If their heads do not
enter the water bath, they will leave the stunning area
completely conscious. In automatic killing systems,
this will result in more work for the team that ensures
that all birds are killed, as unstunned birds will have
to be killed by hand.
Slaughter and bleed out
Ensure that no more than 10 to 12 seconds elapse
between exiting the water bath and entry to the manual or
automatic killer. If this period is shorter or longer, bleed-out
quality will be affected and birds may exit the plucker with
a reddish appearance, or even enter the plucker still alive.
Birds must be fully emerged in the scalders and water agitation must be uniform across the various tanks to
ensure successful plucking.
A failure to ensure this will have consequences
when it comes to feather removal.
To ensure successful plucking, birds must arrive at the
pluckers with a relatively high surface temperature, particularly on the breast and back, of approximately 45 C.
Depending on atmospheric conditions where the
plant is located, the water used in the plucker should be
34 to 40 C to prevent skin from overheating.
Water jets must be directed toward the plucking fingers to stop feathers accumulating and water pressure
should not be above 30 psi, as studies have shown that
higher pressure can result in fecal matter and bacteria
being forced into the carcass.
Chickens must be completely
submerged during scalding.
Eduardo Cervantes López
Plucking fingers must be checked at the end of each
day to ensure they are not broken and that ridges have
not been worn away.
Plucking equipment must be correctly angled to
achieve the greatest possible effectiveness in wing and
tail feather removal.
It is at exit from the plucker that issues with feed
withdrawal can be observed. If feed withdrawal has
been too short, during the journey to the stunner, pressure will be placed by any remaining feed on the bird's
trachea, making breathing difficult. This sensation of
suffocation will cause the birds to flap their wings, risking damage. Should evidence of poor feed withdrawal be
evidenced when the birds exit the last plucker, this must
be reported back to the farm so that it can be avoided in
the future. ■
Eduardo Cervantes López is an international consultant based in Colombia. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
or via www.icproave.com.
August 2018 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com