Broiler Processing: Major Steps Involved

Broiler, Chicken, Processing, Packaging
Broilers are special breeds of chickens raised under intensive system for meat production.  They can attain marketable weight of 2.5 – 3kg from 6 – 8 weeks.
When you are raising broilers for processing. It is important to select breed with fast growth rate, high feed conversion ratio (FCR), energetic, robust and good meat quality and yield.
Broiler processing centres are not much with few players in the industry. Country like Nigeria placed ban on poultry products importation to encourage local production and boost its economy. Export opportunities also abound for processed and packaged chickens to countries that allow importation of poultry products.
Broiler processing is an effort to add value to broiler meat and making it available anytime to consumers. Vast number of consumers valued processed and packaged chickens.
Broiler processing utilizes many equipment and machinery. The processing operations basically include slaughtering, scalding, de-feathering, eviscerating, washing, chilling and packaging/labelling.
The number of birds to be processed per hour determines the processing equipment type employed, which largely depends on investment fund capacity hence, processing 50 – 100 birds per day may utilize only manual operation, processing of 200 – 1000 birds per day may utilize both manual and mechanical operations however, plants producing 6000 – 250,000 birds per day have automated operation.
When broiler is fully processed, it yields about 65% carcass and 10% giblets (edible visceral). Aside selling the carcass, processors also make money selling giblets and head-neck-leg. Giblets include gizzard, liver and heart. The carcass is sold as fresh or frozen whole and cut-up. Poultry products are sold by weight.
Before you set up broiler processing plant, it is expedient to consider Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).
Major steps involved in broiler processing include the following;
Slaughtering: Birds are deprived of feed for 8 – 12 hours before slaughtering to reduce the amount of feed in the gut and possibility of tearing during processing which would cause faecal contamination of the carcass. Small processors usually place birds in funnel-shaped kill cones while large plants hang them on shackles and stun (the process of electrocuting the bird)  them before killing. Kill cones are sized in such a way that will prevent the birds from flapping their wings or backing out. The use of special lightening (like blue light) in plant calm the bird and prevent flapping and injury. After killing, bird are allowed to bleed thoroughly to prevent dark spot on meats.
Scalding: Slaughtered birds are immersed in hot water to loosen feathers and facilitate picking; a little drop of liquid soap may be added to scalding water for better penetration. A scalder that will regulate water temperature can be built or bought to handle large number of birds at once. A temperature of 50oC – 60oC for 90 – 120 seconds is recommended for scalding broiler.
De-feathering: The quality of the de-feathering is related to the scald. If the scald water is too cool, the feathers won’t loosen; if it is too hot, the skin will tear. In order to handle large number of bird, mechanical picker is recommended. The mechanical picker removes feather by abrasive action of rubber fingers in the picker. Pin feathers and fur may be hard to remove mechanically however; they can be removed by pinning (removal of pinfeathers by hand) and singeing (passing the bird through a flame to remove fur).
Eviscerating: before evisceration properly begins, the head, oil glands and feet are removed. Evisceration can be done on a flat surface made of stainless steel but easier done on evisceration shackles. Scissors, knife, or a handheld vent-cutter gun with a circular blade, lung puller or a handheld gun used with a vacuum is needed for proper evisceration. Remove inedible viscera or guts (intestines, oesophagus, spleen, reproductive organs, and lungs). Loosen the crop so it will come out with the guts. The edible viscera are collected.
Washing and Chilling: Washing ought to be done before chilling. The carcass should be thoroughly washed inside and out. At times, additive (like chlorine) may be added to washing water to reduce bacteria load on the carcass. Chilling is done after washing by simply soaking the carcass in chilled water in a tank. Carcass is chilled to a temperature of 5oC for 4 hours.  Carcass can also be air-chilled. Air-chilling takes place in an air-chilling equipment (insulated room or tunnel) in which the temperature is kept between -7oC and 2°C by coolers in the ceiling. Air is blown from nozzles directly into the cavity of each bird or around it. Chilling prevents microbial growth and improves meat quality.

Packaging and Labeling: Processing up to this stage requires good and befitting packaging. Chicken is commonly put it in a plastic bag and closed with twist-tie.  The whole package may be shrink-wrapped before storage to drive out trapped air. Shrink-wrapped chicken looks neat, firm and shelf life is prolonged. Most cut-ups are packaged in tray shrink-wrap. Whole chicken can also be packaged in tray shrink-wrap. Plastic bags can be branded ones with product information or sticker may be affix to the plastic bag.

Need complete broiler processing equipment for small-medium scale or business Plan for small-medium Scale Broiler Processing (300 Birds/Day) or with your specifications.

Contact Kaspharyn Solutions, Nigeria
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28 thoughts on “Broiler Processing: Major Steps Involved

  1. Kàyode Jatto says:

    please send your phone number and lets discuss. I have a interest in starting this business soon, i will definitely need you. 08054403696

  2. Victory Uzoma says:

    the total investment for a highly mechanized production of such can be around what and what can be d expected annual return based on nigeria market today

  3. SUNDAY says:

    The writeup is very encouraging ,can you source the equipment for me on the scale of 100 to 200 birds per day , like the hand held vent cutter gun and the blades.

  4. Gabriel says:

    Pls I’ll like to visit our office to inspect the machinery as it is(if possible) and I’ll also need a quote for a complete processing plant for chicken (broilers).thank u

    • Michael Jacob says:

      Can I have the quote of a complete competitive Commercial Broiler Processing Plant and which may include conveyor please. I am set to start a broiler processing at Abuja any moment from now.

      Thank you

      • Admin says:

        Small – medium scale broiler processing equipment described here utilizes both manual and mechanical operations.It can handle 300 – 700 birds per day with proper combinations.
        For your case, we need to know your expected output per day. We will design and fabricate equipment that will work for you. Meanwhile, It is advisable that two technical experts visit your proposed processing centre to give best advice and recommendations.
        N.B. Trip, lodge & consultation will be paid for.
        Contact for more details.

        • Michael Jacob says:

          I am planning of an initial processing capacity of between 300-500 per day. Market dictates will determine increase in processing capacity

  5. Tunji Sadiq says:

    I am interested in chicken processing and i found your write up very helpful. Can you give a quote for required machines to process average 400 to 500 birds per day. For each machine, please give processing capacity per hour. For example, kill cone – how many birds can it kill per hour, how long do we wait for the blood to fully drain; Scalding – how many birds per hour; Defeathering – no of birds per hour and evisceration machine – how many birds per hour This would help to arrange the process efficiently. I would appreciate photo representation of the machines to come with the quote

  6. Dayo says:

    Please I need a business proposal on poultry processing. Please help me out. It should based on 2M as capital fund. Thanks needed urgently.

  7. AJE Olushola Michael says:

    Hello. Good write-up sir. Informative and educative. Could you please send detailed quote for the equipments including pictures?

    AJE Olushola Michael.

  8. Ibraheem Muritala Adejare says:

    This is an interesting write up and would be of greater advantage to poultry farmers who can form themselves into cluster group to add value to the primary products. Meanwhile, we are planning similar project of which we have acquired cold room already for frozen process.
    Please we would require an estimate to process 750 broilers per day including pictorial presentation of each process

  9. Akpomewomano Ejemen Favour says:

    Your write up is so inspiring. I having been looking for an assistant on how to set a mini poultry slaughtering house 150 chicken daily. What and what will it tak me to start up

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