Our Poultry Slaughterhouse in october 2015
Our own truck drivers arrive at the slaughterhouse with a truckload of chickens. These are parked in the unloading hall.
The unloading hall is equipped with climate control to protect the living chickens against (extreme) weather conditions.
The truckloads are positioned in front of the unloading dock where the full stacks of chicken crates are placed on the feeder towards the automatic destacker.
The automatic destacker destacks the crates one by one.
The chickens are hung from the automatic slaughter line as animal-friendly as possible. The slaughter line takes the chickens to the next operation in the process.
The leg suspenders ensure that the chickens are carefully placed into the shackles for optimal stunning.
Here the chickens enter the water bath stunner. This ensures optimal stunning of every hen.
In this image the chickens are electrically stunned and they are led to the rotary knife.
The mechanical rotary knife cuts the chickens’ necks, always affecting the jugular veins or other veins.
The chicken bleeds over the blood collection trough, but the heart is still beating (fibrillating) until it is bled dry.
Subsequently the chickens go through a scalding tank which can be compared with a whirlpool bath with water at 57°C to ensure feather loss.
As a result of the scalding the feathers can be easily brushed off the carcass in the plucking machine. This is done by means of fast rotating discs with rubber “fingers”.
After the chickens have been plucked automatically, the often still remaining egg is removed.
We remove the egg to be certain that during the process a broken egg cannot contaminate the chicken...
After this, the last hairs (deriving from hollow feather shafts) are singed by means of a gas flame.
A spraying device spray washes the remaining feathers off the chicken.
In the processing department the chickens are prepared for consumption. Here, the evisceration takes place. Firstly, the chicken is opened by means of a vent cutter. The cloaca (to which all of the viscera are attached) is cut loose using this machine.
With an opener every chicken is cut in the abdomen in order to perform other operations.
Using an eviscerating machine, the viscera, including cloaca, bowels, stomach, fore stomach, part of the oesophagus, lungs, heart and liver are removed from the chicken.
The viscera are automatically separated from the chicken, placed on the underlying parts belt and presented to the inspectors...
The parts-bundle on the inspection spot synchronises with the chicken. Firstly correct evisceration is inspected. Then, every chicken is checked for edibility, under continuous supervision of a (assistant) supervising vet of the NVWA (Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority).
The head puller removes the head from the torso by means of a rotary knife.
By means of a “crop drill”, the crop, oesophagus, and trachea are removed from the neck skin.
The neck is separated from the torso at the lower side of the machine. At the same time the top of the machine extracts remains of the lungs from the peritoneal cavity.
The process supervisor checks if all previous operations were carried out properly on all chickens and corrects possible inadequacies.
In the inside-outside washer the chickens are thoroughly washed before they leave the processing department.
A final inspection for contaminations is done. The contaminated chickens will be taken off the line for further recovery.
A crop check is done to find out if any parts of the crop are left. If so, they will subsequently be cut.
While the chickens are still warm, they are cut from the legs in the coolers. The chickens now fall in a spin chiller.
This is where the chickens fall into the spin chiller where water of less than 2°C cools them off.
Eventually the cooled chickens are shoved onto the plateau where they are checked for A or B quality.
Exclusively A quality can be packed and hung on a weighing line.
The weighing line takes the A-quality chickens along a lengthy trajectory to the packaging department.
In the weighing carousel every chicken is weighed. The weight computer ensures that chickens are sorted by weight and dropped at the proper dropping station.
In the packaging department, an extra check for A/B-quality (eg contamination, sunburn, skinscratches or bilespots) is performed before packaging. Any deviations are subsequently cut away / removed.
Depending on the client’s wishes the chickens are subject to bulk packaging (also view “products”).
Or packed individually into a polybag.
Soup hen / Boiling fowl in a blank polybag.
Soup hen / Boiling fowl in a blank polybag.
Depending on the client’s preferences the chickens can be automatically further divided in the parts area..
(also view “products”)
Soup hen legs / boiling fowl legs in 10 kilogram box (also view “products”).
Boiling fowl legs with back in 10 kilogram box (also view “products”).
After packaging, the full boxes are placed onto carts and moved into the tunnel freezer. Here, they become deep-frozen at -40°C and wind force 8. Because of the space between the boxes and the transport carts, the freezing process is quick and efficient.
In the expedition department the frozen products are once again checked for irregularities before the boxes are lidded, provided with a NL5050EG mark and a track & trace information print (also view track & trace)
Every pallet has a pallet form with an EAN128 code including a unique SSCC-number for the purpose of optimal product track & trace. (also view track & trace)
A pallet form on every pallet
The pallets are wrapped in foil and stored in the storage cell.
A Dutch documentary maker called Wouter Klootwijk has made a documentary about the soup hen / boiling fowl in 2011. In this documentary he travels along with the soup hen while being processed and he eventually arrives in Togo (West Africa) where the soup hen is being highly appreciated.
View the documentary (in Dutch) here:
De Wilde Keuken aflevering: Soepkip