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Animals 2018, 8(8), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8080141

An Evaluation of Two Different Broiler Catching Methods

1
Animalia, the Norwegian Meat and Poultry Research Centre, N-0585 Oslo, Norway
2
NMBU—the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, N-0454 Oslo, Norway
3
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
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Farm Animal Transport)
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Simple Summary

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.

Abstract

Catching is the first step in the pre-slaughter chain for broiler chickens. The process may be detrimental for animal welfare due to the associated handling. The aim of this pilot study was to compare two different methods to manually catch broilers: Catching the broilers by two legs and carrying them inverted (LEGS) or catching the broilers under the abdomen and carrying them in an upright position (UPRIGHT). Wing and leg fractures upon arrival at the abattoir, animal density in the drawers, birds on their back, broilers dead-on-arrival and time to fill the transport modules were investigated. The results showed that mean crating time was shorter in the UPRIGHT method (p = 0.007). There was a tendency for more wing fractures in broilers caught by the LEGS (p = 0.06). The animal density in the drawers was lower and with a smaller range in the UPRIGHT method (p = 0.022). The results indicate that catching the broilers under the abdomen in an upright position may improve broiler welfare in terms of fewer wing fractures, more consistent stocking density in drawers and potentially reduced loading time. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal welfare; broiler; catching; pre-slaughter chain; poultry; wing fractures animal welfare; broiler; catching; pre-slaughter chain; poultry; wing fractures
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kittelsen, K.E.; Granquist, E.G.; Aunsmo, A.L.; Moe, R.O.; Tolo, E. An Evaluation of Two Different Broiler Catching Methods. Animals 2018, 8, 141.

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