Submitted to: Southern Poultry Science Society Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 5, 2002
Publication Date: July 6, 2003
Citation: Buhr, R.J., Bourassa, D.V., Foutz, T.L., Fletcher, D.L. 2003. Electroencephalogram recordings following low and high voltage electrical stunbleeding in broilers. [abstract] Southern Poultry Science Society Meeting Abstracts. 82(suppl.1):138.
Electroencephalograms (EEGs) were recorded for 6-week-old commercial broilers before and after stun-bleeding using the BioRadio 110 and skin surface contact electrodes to evaluate low (USA) and high (EU) electrical stunning protocols. Each broiler was suspended inverted in a processing shackle and three cutaneous snap electrodes adhered to the back of the head and neck where feathers were removed the previous day. The electrode wires were attached to a transmitter that was equipped with an in-line custom-made device to open the circuit during stunning to avoid electrical damage. Both stunning protocols delivered the current through the chicken¿s head (+) and shanks (-) while suspended in a shackle. The first electric stunning protocol (typical for USA) was 15 mA, 23V DC (550 Hz) for 10 s and was immediately followed by 15 V AC (60 Hz) for 5 s. The second electric stun protocol (typical for EU) used a >105 mA AC (60 Hz) for 5 s and was sufficient to induce cardiac arrest. EEG recordings were taken for more than 30 s prior to stunning to acquire a prestun brain activity pattern for each individual broiler. Stunned broilers were immediately bled with a knife and EEGs recorded for 3 min after stunning. The EEG recordings were evaluated to determine wave characteristics and the duration of spontaneous poststun brain activity. The poststun-bleed EEG recordings depicted a brief period of high amplitude spikes, which progressively decreased in amplitude with time. Typically brain activity and EEG amplitude and frequency lessens within the first 30 s after stun-bleeding. Between 30 and 60 s after stun-bleeding, carcass muscular activity sporadically occurs resulting in recording of large spikes on the recordings. After 60 s, broilers appear to be unconscious and rapidly approaching brain death. Comparison among the EEGs recording for broilers stun-bled by either of theses two procedures are very similar, and individual recordings would be difficult to distinguish without examination of the stun duration periods.