Make Sure You Catch Your Profits10 June 2015
GLOBAL - Weeks of hard work and care go into a flock so why risk your profits at the very end? Many causes of downgrades at the processing stage occur during catching and handling the birds.
Here’s how to ensure you take a welfare led approach to catching and gain the financial reward for your work.
A calm environment is paramount. Well trained staff will keep birds relaxed and calm and bird activity to a minimum. Timing is vital. Make sure you catch in plenty of time so you are not rushed but late enough to minimise transportation times.
Raise feeding equipment to above head height and if you have a large house, use pens to separate birds, to enable an easier catch.
Perhaps the most important element is lighting, with birds looking to rest being much easier to catch as well as more relaxed.
Night time catches are preferred so that the transfer from shed to transport is seamless and lighting inside the house should be at the lowest level possible to enable a safe catch.
When catching by hand, broilers should be caught carefully and held e.g. by both shanks or around the body using both hands to hold the wings against the body. This will minimise distress, damage, and injury.
It is also important to make sure birds are placed in the crates carefully, taking care they are in an upright position.
Welfare must be the first thought when it comes to catching birds. A good, well timed, well supervised plan will result in benefits for both the farmer and the bird. It’s important to review procedures regularly and have clear guidelines in place.
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