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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Poultry Microbiological Safety and Processing Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #396299

Research Project: Production and Processing Intervention Strategies for Poultry Associated Foodborne Pathogens

Location: Poultry Microbiological Safety and Processing Research Unit

Title: Rate of blood loss and total blood loss varies in broilers based on exsanguination method

item OSBORNE, RACHEL - University Of Georgia
item Harris, Caitlin
item Buhr, Richard - Jeff
item KIEPPER, BRIAN - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/26/2022
Publication Date: 7/11/2022
Citation: Osborne, R.E., Harris, C.E., Buhr, R.J., Kiepper, B.K. 2022. Rate of blood loss and total blood loss varies in broilers based on exsanguination method. Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract. 37.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Rate of blood loss and total blood loss varies in broilers based on exsanguination method With over 9 billion broilers processed each year in the U.S., blood is a significant and valuable by-product of poultry processing. Yet, there is relatively little research into the effect of exsanguination method on overall blood loss and blood loss rate, particularly on modern high breast meat yield broilers. It has been assumed that decapitation may result in a less effective bleed-out than conventional neck-bleed cuts. However, there are no definitive studies available examining this issue with modern-day, feed withdrawn broilers. Without access to accurate bleed-out data, processors may have difficulty deciding on an appropriate bleed-out time and corresponding blood collection tunnel length. The aim of this study was to determine percentage of blood loss and rate of blood loss for four exsanguination methods. To accomplish this, 4 trials were conducted using male broilers at 51 (N=88; BW 3896g), 45 (N=96; BW 3923g), 44 (N=88; BW 3681g), and 36 (N=80; BW 2480g) d of age. Broilers underwent an 8-hour feed withdrawal before being shackled, then electrically stunned (25V pulsed DC for 15s, mouth to vent) and randomly assigned to be exsanguinated in one of 4 ways: neck cut (carotid artery and jugular vein) on one side (1S), neck cut on both sides (2S), decapitated at the base of the head (DH), or decapitated at the base of the neck (DN) using a hand-held knife. Post exsanguination, BW were recorded in 15s intervals until 3 minutes had elapsed. Rate of blood loss and percentage total blood loss were calculated, and data were analyzed by ANOVA in SAS JMP using Student's t-test for means separation. 1S treatment consistently resulted in the highest percentage total blood loss across all trials (3.01%, 51d; 3.80%, 45d; 3.44%, 44d; 3.89%, 36d), while DN resulted in the lowest percentage total blood loss in all trials (2.69% 51d, 3.47% 45d, and 3.53% 36d) except for birds 44d of age (2.99%). As bird age and BW increased, blood lost as a percentage BW over 180s tended to decrease. Regardless of bird age, the highest rate of blood loss occurred in the first 15s after exsanguination and significant differences in blood loss rate were greatly reduced after 75s of bleed-out time. 1S had a significantly lower rate of blood loss in the first 15s in birds 51d of age (P<0.0001), 44d of age (P=0.0011), and 36d of age (P<0.0001). 73% (51d) to 77% (44d) of all blood lost during bleed-out occurred in the first 30s. After 90s, only 7% (51d) to 5% (36d) of total blood loss was recorded. This indicates that while overall blood loss may vary based on exsanguination method, a sufficient bleed-out can be achieved within 90s (current industry standard) regardless of broiler age or BW.