|THAXTON, J. P.|
|Cox, Nelson - Nac|
Submitted to: International Poultry Forum Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/28/2006
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Mechanical catching was originally designed to address labor supply problems. As a result of early studies on damage at the processing plant, mechanical catching was quickly designated as a more humane method of handling. Assessment at the plant contains confounding variables that occur after catching and tends to be subjective. Efforts to use more objective measurements have been done in laboratory type settings with mixed results. In an effort to determine if there are significant differences in bird quality as a result of catching method using objective measurements, two separate trials were conducted using commercial straight-run broilers. A tunnel ventilated house was divided into equal units and each unit housed 13,700 birds. All management practices met industry accepted standards. On d 54, the birds in one unit were caught manually by an experienced catching crew. The birds in the other unit were caught by a mechanical catcher operated by experienced personnel. Birds in both units were placed in standard cages. Immediately before catching, 12 females and 12 males were caught at random. Then one cage in each unit was designated to be used for experimental purposes. Immediately after the birds were placed in the holding cage, they were placed along one wall and 12 females and 12 males were selected at random for microbiological monitoring. After a 2 h holding period, another 12 females and 12 males were selected at random for microbiological assessment. The microbiological condition of the birds did not vary significantly. Management data indicate that the birds from each section of the house were as close to the same possible.