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Poultry Improvement Contest. Killing and Dressing Poultry (Scalding, Feather Removal, and Evisceration). Scalding. Consists essentially of dunking or dragging the birds through hot water. The water tends to relax and “cook” the muscles holding the feathers, making them easier to remove.

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Poultry Improvement Contest


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    1. Poultry Improvement Contest Killing and Dressing Poultry (Scalding, Feather Removal, and Evisceration)

    2. Scalding • Consists essentially of dunking or dragging the birds through hot water. • The water tends to relax and “cook” the muscles holding the feathers, making them easier to remove. • The water also gives the feathers a better gripping surface for the picking machines.

    3. Scalding-continued • The temperature of the water for broilers should be 123-130 degrees F for 30-75 seconds. (The temperature and time are very important.) • If the water is too hot, the yellow outer layer of the skin will come off.

    4. Feather Removal • Almost all picking today is done “wet” style where the scalded birds are rotated against a revolving drum with rubber “fingers” sticking out. • The “fingers” pull the feathers from the bird whether it is held by hand against the drum, bounced around a rubber-finger, or dragged on a shackle through a series of “fingers”.

    5. Evisceration • Extreme care must be taken during evisceration to see that the intestines are not cut during the procedure. • The presence of fecal material on the carcass may cause it to be condemned. • The evisceration procedure will vary slightly depending upon how the bird is held or suspended.

    6. Evisceration-Continued • The feet and head are cut off; the head near its base (below the cut from killing) and the shank and feet at the hock joint. • The neck skin is slit down the back to the base of the neck. • The skin is pulled away from the neck itself and the trachea, esophagus, and crop are removed.

    7. Removing the Rest of the Viscera • Make a vertical cut through the skin of the abdomen from the end of the keel (breast) bone down to and around the vent opening. • Then reach into the body cavity and work loose the viscera until you are able to pull them out in one mass. • A vacuum may be used instead.

    8. Then remove the lungs and kidneys. • The liver, heart, and gizzard (if normal) are separated from the rest of the viscera. • The gizzard must be cut so that the inner sac-liner and any food material in it can be removed. • The inside of the body cavity and the giblets (heart, liver, and gizzard) are thoroughly washed with cold water.

    9. Chilling Procedures • The purpose in cooling poultry carcasses is to prevent bacterial growth. • You will be putting ice in a cooler (which you must take) to keep your chickens cool. • When you get home, immediately freeze or refrigerate. • In processing plants, modern continuous ice-slush-water chillers cool the chickens.

    10. Continuous Chillers • The carcasses can be brought below 40 degrees F within a half hour or so. • By regulations, carcasses must be chilled to below 40 degrees within 4 hours if they weigh less than 4 pounds and within 8 hours if they exceed 8 pounds.