Livestock Research of Wageningen UR

Lelystad, Netherlands

Livestock Research of Wageningen UR

Lelystad, Netherlands

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Lambooij E.,Livestock Research of Wageningen UR | Reimert H.G.M.,Livestock Research of Wageningen UR | Verhoeven M.T.W.,Livestock Research of Wageningen UR | Hindle V.A.,Livestock Research of Wageningen UR
Poultry Science | Year: 2014

Two experiments were conducted to evaluate a new electrical stunning system for broilers. The objective of the first experiment was to evaluate the behavioral, neural, and physiological responses of 27 broilers after head-only electrical stunning while their bodies were restrained in cone-shaped holders. In the second experiment, quality of meat from 30 broilers after headonly electrical stunning in a cone-shaped restrainer was compared with that from 30 broilers stunned in a conventional water bath. Broilers were restrained in the cone with their heads positioned to facilitate a correct stun, followed by a neck cut by hand. After stunning, each broiler displayed a tonic phase, followed by minimal brain activity during bleeding. On average, heart rate was 258 ± 51 beats/min before stunning. The heart was observed to malfunction after cutting. According to the correlation dimension analyses, the score remained low. Within a confidence limit of 95%, taking into account the number of birds with a reliable electroencephalogram (n = 27), the chance of an effective stun and exsanguination with all broilers lies between 0.90 and 1.00 using a sinusoidal AC current of 264 ± 29 mA (~130 V). After a brief learning period, operators were able to easily position the broilers in the cone in a commercial setting. The pH after chilling was 0.5 units lower (P < 0.05) in the head-only stunned group compared with the group stunned in a conventional water bath. After head-only stunning, 60% of breast fillets showed no blood splashes and 3% showed severe blood splashes compared with 20 and 27% after conventional water bath stunning. No differences in temperature and color were observed between the 2 groups. It is concluded that broilers could be restrained in a cone, followed by correct head-only stunning, neck-cutting, and unconscious shackling afterward under laboratory and commercial slaughterhouse conditions. When this procedure was used, meat quality was better compared with broilers stunned in the conventional water bath. © 2014 Poultry Science Association Inc.


Lambooij E.,Livestock Research of Wageningen UR | Reimert H.G.M.,Livestock Research of Wageningen UR | Hindle V.A.,Livestock Research of Wageningen UR
Poultry Science | Year: 2010

Behavioral and neural responses of 47 broilers to head-only single-bird electrical stunning were evaluated using cone-shaped restrainers in which the broilers were suspended by their feet. Meat quality assessment was performed on 2 groups of 25 broilers stunned using the head-only method or a conventional water bath method. Hemorrhages were quantified by a visual grading system. on electroencephalogram recordings, a general epileptiform insult was observed when a set current of at least 190 mA (~100 V, 50 Hz) was applied for a duration of 0.5, 3, or 5 s. This insult showed a tonic phase, followed by a clonic phase and an exhaustion phase, after which the birds recovered. on the basis of visual observation, these birds may have been unconscious for approximately 30, 44, or 65 s. According to correlation dimension analysis scores, these durations were 18, 12, and 16 s, respectively. Within a confidence limit of 95%, taking into account the number of birds with a reliable electroencephalogram, the chance of an effective stun lies between 0.95 and 1.00 with an average current of 190 ± 30 mA. After stunning, the electrocardiogram revealed fibrillation. The heart rate decreased significantly (P < 0.05) after stunning but recovered thereafter. The pH after chilling was (P < 0.05) lower in the group stunned head only compared with the water bath group. The percentages of fillets free of blood splashes were 80% in carcasses of head-only-stunned birds and 16% in carcasses from broilers stunned in the commercial water bath. it was concluded that broilers were insensible and unconscious after head-only electrical stunning using pin-electrodes. Because of the risk that broilers can rapidly regain consciousness after stunning, cutting the neck immediately after stunning is recommended. it is also recommended that the head-only equipment be developed further for practical application and commercial use. © 2010 Poultry Science Association Inc.


PubMed | Livestock Research of Wageningen UR
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Poultry science | Year: 2010

Behavioral and neural responses of 47 broilers to head-only single-bird electrical stunning were evaluated using cone-shaped restrainers in which the broilers were suspended by their feet. Meat quality assessment was performed on 2 groups of 25 broilers stunned using the head-only method or a conventional water bath method. Hemorrhages were quantified by a visual grading system. On electroencephalogram recordings, a general epileptiform insult was observed when a set current of at least 190 mA (~100 V, 50 Hz) was applied for a duration of 0.5, 3, or 5 s. This insult showed a tonic phase, followed by a clonic phase and an exhaustion phase, after which the birds recovered. On the basis of visual observation, these birds may have been unconscious for approximately 30, 44, or 65 s. According to correlation dimension analysis scores, these durations were 18, 12, and 16 s, respectively. Within a confidence limit of 95%, taking into account the number of birds with a reliable electroencephalogram, the chance of an effective stun lies between 0.95 and 1.00 with an average current of 190 30 mA. After stunning, the electrocardiogram revealed fibrillation. The heart rate decreased significantly (P < 0.05) after stunning but recovered thereafter. The pH after chilling was (P < 0.05) lower in the group stunned head only compared with the water bath group. The percentages of fillets free of blood splashes were 80% in carcasses of head-only-stunned birds and 16% in carcasses from broilers stunned in the commercial water bath. It was concluded that broilers were insensible and unconscious after head-only electrical stunning using pin-electrodes. Because of the risk that broilers can rapidly regain consciousness after stunning, cutting the neck immediately after stunning is recommended. It is also recommended that the head-only equipment be developed further for practical application and commercial use.

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