The Science of Poultry and Meat Processing
This book, which represents today a major authority document in the poultry Literature, covers various areas related to the meat processing industry, such as automation, primary and further processing, protein gelation, use of non-meat ingredients, product evaluation, microbiology, HACCP. One of the most important chapter of the book addresses the Live Birds Hauling with a detailed description of both practices of bird harvesting,: Manual and Mechanical.
As stated by Dr. Shai Barbut , in the paragraph that is covering mechanical harvesting: “The main benefits of using mechanical harvesters include improved working conditions for thee catching crew, reduced labor costs, and reduced stress and injury to the birds. In the past few years, animal welfare and employee health and safety issues have received much more attention and therefore advancements in mechanical harvesters are closely watched by the poultry industry. Fifteen years ago there were only a handful of mechanical harvesters operating in the UK, each capable of harvesting 35.000 birds per day, and few operating in USA and Australia. Today, however some industry estimates suggests 20% mechanical loading of broilers in Europe and 5% in North America. For turkeys the percent of mechanical loading increases to 80% in Europe and US. In Saudi Arabia some estimates are as high as 100% mechanical catching. Overall, it is expected that the use of mechanical loaders will increase as more companies are interesting in automating the process.” [Chapter.4, page 105]
“Lacy and Czarick” “compared the bruising rate of manual versus mechanical harvesting and reported that leg bruising was reduced by more than 50% and there were also reductions in back and breast bruising when mechanical harvesting was used. “ [Chapter.4, page 106-107]
“Others have also indicated that direct contact with humans, especially if infrequent, is a physiological stressor to the birds. The basic method used by a mechanical harvester reduces the direct contact between humans and birds.” [Chapter.4, page 106]