Life bird arrival department
The chickens are delivered in containers by truck. In the air-conditioned lairage the animals have a two-hour rest phase to calm them. The room is lit with only blue light, which chickens cannot see. After the containers have been unloaded the trucks are cleaned and disinfected. The unloading of the containers is fully automated. The animals slide onto a wide, slow-moving trampoline conveyor belt. Optical detectors monitor the containers to ensure that they are completely emptied. The emptied containers are cleaned and disinfected in the subsequent washing line and are prepared for the next transport.
A particular concern of ours is to ensure that the slaughtering process is as stress-free as possible. The animals are gently stunned, before the actual slaughtering process begins. At the end of the stunning tunnel is the so-called carousel. Here the chickens are hung from an endless chain by their feet. As the animals are stunned, this process is stress-free, not only for the animals but also for the employees. This also minimises dust development. Each employee can adjust their individual working height with platforms, enabling us to provide ergonomically optimum working conditions. The gas stunning method has been included in the new Animal Welfare Slaughtering Regulations (“Tierschutzschlachtverordnung”), which will come into force in 2013.
Automatic quality assurance
After they have been slaughtered the chickens pass through the so-called scalders, which facilitates the subsequent feather plucking, which is also fully-automated. Immediately afterwards, the chickens pass a camera system, which compares the quality of the animals with a specified standard.