Evaluation of the potential killing performance of novel percussive and cervical dislocation tools in chicken cadavers

Martin, J.E., Mckeegan, D.E.F. , Sparrey, J. and Sandilands, V. (2017) Evaluation of the potential killing performance of novel percussive and cervical dislocation tools in chicken cadavers. British Poultry Science, 58(3), pp. 216-223. (doi: 10.1080/00071668.2017.1280724) (PMID:28084791)

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1. Four mechanical poultry killing devices; modified Armadillo (MARM), modified Rabbit Zinger (MZIN), modified pliers (MPLI) and a novel mechanical cervical dislocation gloved device (NMCD), were assessed for their killing potential in the cadavers of euthanised birds of 4 type/age combinations: layer/adult, layer/pullet, broiler/slaughter-age and broiler/chick. 2. A 4x4x4 factorial design (batch x device x bird type + age) was employed. Ten bird cadavers per bird type and age were tested with each of the 4 devices (N = 160 birds). All cadavers were examined post-mortem to establish the anatomical damage caused by each device. 3. Three of the mechanical methods: NMCD, MARM and MZIN demonstrated killing potential, as well as consistency in their anatomical effects, with device success rates of over 50% indicating that the devices performed optimally more than half of the time. NMCD had the highest killing potential, with 100% of birds sustaining the required physical trauma to have caused rapid death. 4. The MPLI was inconsistent, and only performed optimally for 27.5% of birds, despite good killing potential when performing well. Severe crushing injury was seen in >50% of MPLI birds, suggesting that birds would die of asphyxia rather than cerebral ischaemia, a major welfare concern. As a result, the modified pliers are not recommended as a humane on-farm killing device for chickens. 5. This experiment provides important data on the killing potential of untried novel percussive and mechanical cervical dislocation methods, informing future studies.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McKeegan, Dr Dorothy
Authors: Martin, J.E., Mckeegan, D.E.F., Sparrey, J., and Sandilands, V.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:British Poultry Science
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1466-1799
Published Online:13 January 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in British Poultry Science 58(3): 216-223
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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