Proper slaughter practices ensure wholesome poultry products. Hygienic slaughter of poultry enhances access to premium markets. These practices facilitate better slaughter waste management, which reduces the spread of diseases.Transportation of poultry using cages minimises heat stress, which may cause death. Cleaning and disinfection of trucks and equipment, helps to prevent disease transmission from one farm to another.
What to do pre-slaughter;
Birds should be transported to the slaughter place in appropriate cages made from plastic or wire. At the slaughter place birds should be held in the holding area, awaiting inspection by the veterinarian. It is after inspection that healthy birds are presented for slaughter.
Sick birds should not be slaughtered for consumption
Slaughtering can be performed manually or by a slaughter machine. Slaughtered birds should be bled for at least two minutes to ensure a total bleed out. They are then dipped into hot water (scalding) to loosen feathers for plucking to take place.
Birds for subsequent freezing should be scalded at 65<sup>0</sup>C, while those for chilled distribution should be scalded at 60 0C.
To avoid cross-contamination of carcasses during the scalding process, de-feathered birds should be rinsed under running water.
In this process the head, feet and internal organs are removed. The open bird and the organs are then presented for inspection by a trained individual. Birds that are unfit for human consumption should be disposed off hygienically by burying.
Certified carcasses should be rinsed under clean running water and cooled as quickly as possible to 4<sup>0</sup>C or below. It is important to ensure that, the carcass is packed in material approved by current national/ regional regulations or other for distribution.
Marketing of Poultry Products;
It is important to know the market requirements; the investment costs, running costs, and expected revenue for the different products before starting any production activity. These include Whole birds (for meat etc), Eggs, Parts (Gizzards, Drumsticks, Chicken wings, Chicken breasts) manure etc.
Birds for sale;
- Day old chicks
- Cockerels at the age of 5 months
- Breeding growers, cocks or hens
- Spent hens
Eggs for sale;
- Table eggs
- Fertile eggs
Pack eggs in boxes, egg trays or other suitable containers to avoid breakage.
Economical analysis and simple risk assessment;
Before starting any poultry production enterprise, calculate if it is economically feasible, thereby making the right decisions regarding the production system and the necessary interventions.
Revenue or income;
Revenue or income is all the money earned in relation to the poultry enterprise such as:
- Income from sale of live birds, e.g. growers, cockerels or spent hens;
- Income from sale of eggs;
- Value of eggs or poultry eaten or given away.
It is important to also value the standing stock, e.g. the production flock that is the foundation for future income. Poultry manure, empty gunny bags also represent a value when used on the farm or sold for other activities.
Expenditure or costs;
These are costs involved in relation to the poultry enterprise
- Material for night baskets shelters or poultry houses
- Starting up flock e.g. Growers, hens or cocks
- Fertile eggs for incubation
- Supplementary feed, vitamins or minerals
- Vaccines and other medication
- Labour and technical advice.