Poultry International - July 2017 - 31
PoultryInternational ❙ 31
continue to produce bile up until
the moment the bird is slaughtered.
However, during the feed withdrawal period, the gallbladder will
increase in size, and this raises the
risk that it will break during removal. Any spilt bile has the potential
to stain the inside and the outside of
the carcass. If not washed off within
15 seconds, this staining will become indelible, leading to partial or
total condemnation of the bird.
Bile staining of the carcass
can lead to partial or total
Eduardo Cervantes López
The liver is an energy bank that
will shrink as it supplies glucose
and energy. While liver depletion
will not affect the carcass yield,
any shrinkage will reduce the
processing plant's total output if
giblets are considered as part of the
total plant yield.
equipment designed to do exactly
this, the reality is that the head is
not always removed at the point
that it should be.
An additional inch is often
removed. This small additional
section has a weight, without skin,
of approximately 25 grams. While
this may seem small, if multiplied
by the number of birds processed
in a day, then losses mount.
Care with crop, trachea
Removing the feet
Dehydration can lead to the
crop and trachea strongly adhering
to the abdominal cavity, making
their removal all the more difficult.
Care must be taken that their
removal does not lead to the loss
of valuable skin, so reducing yield.
It has been established that 1
centimeter of skin has an average
weight of 5 grams which, while
small in itself, can affect total yield
when multiplied by the number of
In many processing plants, the
cut made to remove the paws is a
few millimeters below the joint.
The cut is made at this point to add
a few additional grams to the final
yield, but also to stop allow for any
skin shrinkage on the thigh, which
would otherwise reveal the meat
underneath, and which consumers
tend to reject.
Importance of the liver
Ideally, the head should be
removed at the point of the first
neck, or atlas, vertebra. Yet despite
July 2017 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com
Some equipment manufacturers guarantee that, after correct
feed withdrawal, damage to the
intestines will occur in less than 7
percent of birds at vent cutting.
However, only when all variables have been properly considered will vent cutting be successful.
It should be remembered that the
quality of the blade edge will have
a significant impact in ensuring that
it is only the vent that is removed.
Cutting the abdomen
Whether the cut is transverse
or longitudinal, blade quality will
again have a significant influence
on the success of this procedure and, if not done properly, the
carcass may be completely rejected.
Another check that needs be
regularly made is on the loss of abdominal fat, which has an average
weight of 40 grams. If the longitudinal cut is not properly made, there
is the risk that, with the removal of
the intestinal package, fat is either
partially or wholly removed. Fat can
account for 1.5-2 percent of the live
weight of a broiler.
Even in those plants that employ the latest technology to eviscerate birds, there is still a need
to monitor performance to ensure
that target yields are achieved. ■
Eduardo Cervantes López is an
international consultant based
in Colombia. Contact him at
6 welfare practices to raise poultry processing