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Poult Sci. 1999 Apr;78(4):600-7.

The effects of captive bolt and electrical stunning, and restraining methods on broiler meat quality.

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Institute for Animal Science and Health, ID-DLO, Lelystad, The Netherlands.


The effects of captive bolt stunning using air pressure, compared to electrical water bath stunning, on broiler carcass and meat quality were evaluated. The birds were shackled or placed in a cone. Two trials were conducted using a total of 160 female broilers. The four stunning-restraining treatments were whole-body electrical stunning (10 s, 110 mA, 300 Hz) in a water bath or air pressure stunning (0.5 s, 2 atm) while broilers were shackled by their feet or placed in a cone. Air pressure stunning caused a higher (P < 0.01) degree of convulsions and a lower (P < 0.01) degree of blood loss than electrical stunning, and reduced the prevalence of broken clavicles (P < 0.05) and coracoids (P < 0.01). Blood loss of shackled broilers was slightly higher (P < 0.05) than those restrained in a cone. Air pressure stunning resulted in significantly (P < 0.01) lower pH values and hemorrhaging in filets and thigh muscles than electrical stunning. The incidence of thigh muscle hemorrhaging was significantly (P < 0.01) reduced when broilers were restrained in a cone compared to being shackled. The stunning and restraining treatments did not result in differences in cooking losses. The filets from shackled birds were judged more tender than the filets from cone-restrained birds. With respect to the effect of stunning method, the filets of air pressure stunned birds was judged more tender than the meat from electrically stunned birds. Captive bolt stunning using air pressure has benefits over electrical stunning; however, a suitable stunning and restraining device remains to be developed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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