An Evaluation of Two Different Broiler Catching Methods
Animalia, the Norwegian Meat and Poultry Research Centre, N-0585 Oslo, Norway
NMBU—the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, N-0454 Oslo, Norway
Norsk Kylling AS, N-7290 Støren, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 June 2018
Revised: 10 August 2018
Accepted: 13 August 2018
Published: 15 August 2018
Catching is the process that transfers birds from the poultry house to the transport modules. The catching process and its associated handling may lead to stress, injuries, mortality and reduced welfare for the animals. The aim of this pilot study was to investigate the effect of two manual broiler catching methods. Broilers were either caught by both legs and carried inverted to the drawers or caught under the abdomen and carried in an upright position. Effects of catching method on crating time, number of animals in the drawers, wing and leg fractures, animals on their back in the drawers and broilers dead-on-arrival were investigated. The results showed that the abdominal and upright method was faster and gave a lower and more consistent number of birds per drawer. In addition, this method tended towards fewer wing fractures. No broken legs, birds on their back in the drawers or broilers dead-on-arrival were observed in the study. Catching is a critical phase in the pre-slaughter chain, and this study shows that the catching and carrying method affects broiler welfare.