Slaughter of Poultry and Animals

Published by Johnson M on

Poultry slaughter

Key steps in the slaughter process:

Unloading: After their arrival at the processing plant, the birds are unloaded for processing. People can attach the animals onto the moving rails

Stunning: The first step in humane slaughter is “stunning” to render the bird unconscious prior to killing. The use of electric shock is common – allowing the heads of the birds to come into contact a saline solution (approximately 1% NaCl) that is charged. The animal will be unconcious for 60 to 90 sec.

Killing: After stunning, the shackle conveyor takes the bird to the killing machine. First, cutting of the jugular veins and carotid arteries to allow bleeding and death of the bird.

Feather removal: Involves Scalding: To loosen the feathers. Done by dipping carcases in a bath of hot water which serves to denature the protein structures holding the feathers in place.

Two methods are common:

Scalding at 53.35°C (128°F) for 120 sec is called “soft scalding”

Scalding at 62 to 64°C (145 to 148°F) for 45 sec, a process called “hard scalding.”

Picking: serves to remove the feathers.

Evisceration: Evisceration is the removal of edible and inedible viscera from the carcass. It has three basic objectives:

  1. the body cavity is opened by making a cut from the posterior tip of the breastbone to the cloaca (anus);
  2. the viscera (primarily the gastrointestinal tract and associated organs, reproductive tract, heart, and lungs) is scooped out; and
  3. the edible viscera or “giblets” (heart, liver, and gizzard) are harvested from the extracted viscera, trimmed of adhering tissues, and washed with water.

Chilling: The primary objective of chilling poultry is reduction of microbial growth to a level that will maximize both food safety and time available for marketing. Generally, a temperature of 4°C or less is achieved as soon as possible after evisceration (1 to 2 hours postmortem).

Animal slaughter


Summary of the steps:

Dehairing/skinningBelly hide splitting
Hide pulling  
EviscerationRectum loosening
Belly opening
Organ removal
Sternum splitting
SplittingBackbone splitting
Grading and inspection
Carcass break-up

Pigs – Pork

Summary of the steps:

EviscerationRectum loosening
Belly opening
Organ removal
Sternum splitting
Backbone splitting