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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Improved Efficiency of Intact Crop Removal for Broiler Breeder Rooster and Hen Carcasses During Manual Evisceration

Authors
item Buhr, Richard
item Bourassa, Dianna
item Wilson, J - UGA
item Fletcher, D - UGA

Submitted to: Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 19, 2004
Publication Date: April 1, 2005
Citation: Buhr, R.J., Bourassa, D.V., Wilson, J.L., Fletcher, D.L. 2005. Improved efficiency of intact crop removal for broiler breeder rooster and hen carcasses during manual evisceration. Applied Poultry Research. 14:20-24.

Interpretive Summary: Incomplete removal or rupture of the crop during evisceration of poultry can potentially lead to bacterial contamination (Salmonella and Campylobacter) from ingesta onto the internal and external surfaces of the carcass. Using a processing technique that we had previously shown to improve the efficiency of crop intact removal for broiler chickens (97% intact), experiments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of the technique in mature breeder roosters and hens. The technique involved breaking the neck of the carcass parallel with the shoulders prior to crop removal. The maximum load required to remove the crop from the carcass was recorded, and the crop examined to determine if it was removed intact or ruptured. Carcasses that had the neck broken prior to crop removal had significantly more crops removed intact (85%) for both rooster and hen carcasses compared to only 20% removed intact for rooster and hen carcasses in which the neck remained attached. The load required to remove the crop was 1.6 kg greater for rooster than for hen carcasses, and for rooster carcasses, breaking the neck prior to evisceration resulted in a lowering of the maximum load by 1 kg. The difference in the load required to remove crops intact was not different from the values for crops that ruptured, suggesting that crops ruptured during removal due to external attachments and not to inherent weakness. Breaking the neck of breeder carcasses prior to evisceration improved the efficiency of intact crop removal (85% removed intact) and would thereby minimize the incidence of crop ingesta contaminating the carcass during evisceration.

Technical Abstract: Using a technique that previously demonstrated improved efficiency of intact crop removal for broilers, experiments were conducted to determine the effectiveness of the technique in 40 and 41 wk old broiler breeder roosters and hens. The technique involved (after scalding, defeathering, and cutting off the head) breaking the neck from the carcass parallel with the shoulders, leaving the ventral neck skin, trachea, and esophagus intact. With individual carcasses suspended by their wings from a shackle, the esophagus was grasped above the proventriculus within the thoracic cavity, and the crop was pulled through the thoracic inlet. The maximum load required to remove the crop from the carcass was recorded, and it was determined if the crops removed were intact or ruptured. Carcasses that had the neck broken prior to crop removal had significantly more crops removed intact (85%, 35 of 40) for both rooster and hen carcasses compared to only 20% removed intact (8 of 40 carcasses) for rooster and hen carcasses in which the neck remained attached. The load required to remove the crop was influenced by gender and treatment. Rooster carcasses required a higher load (5.7 kg) than hen carcasses (4.9 kg), and for rooster carcasses, breaking the neck prior to evisceration resulted in a lower load (5.2 kg) to remove the crop than that of carcasses in which the neck remained attached (6.2 kg). The difference (0.2 kg) in the load recorded for crops removed intact and those that ruptured was not significant, and suggests that crops ruptured during removal due to external attachments and not to inherent weakness. Breaking the neck of broiler breeder carcasses prior to evisceration improved the efficiency of intact crop removal (85% removed intact) and would thereby minimize the incidence of crop contents contaminating the carcass during evisceration.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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