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Poultry production is big business throughout the world. It is also a highly competitive industry and feed suppliers, producers, processors, manufacturers of equipment etc. have all appreciated the economies of scale and gone on to develop bigger and more automated systems of operation than ever before to supply an insatiable market. It’s a value addition process which produce ready-made chicken for the kitchen.
Following the ban on the importation of poultry products by the Federal Government of Nigeria as policy measures to revive the economy and encourage the local poultry farmers, there has been an increase in the number of poultry processing plants in the country. However due to inadequate processed facilities to meet the local demand, the price of processed chicken increased by over 75% and has since open up investment opportunity in the value chain.
Industry experts indicate that about 90% of broiler production are slaughtered, processed and sold as frozen chicken, while the rest is sold live in the open market and slaughtered in various homes. About 50% of the broiler produced are processed in automated slaughtering plants and stored in cold rooms before distribution and sales.
The objective of a centralized poultry processing plant of any scale of operation is to produce material at a price which customers can afford, which is hygienic, wholesome, attractive and marketable of consistent appearance and quality, and with a realistic shelf life.
Poultry processing consists of five easily defined unit operations:
1. Slaughtering: The birds are hanged on an overhead shackle where they are stunned by a low voltage system before placing in the bleeding cones. Birds are allowed to bleed for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes before dressing starts
2. Scalding and defeathering: After bleeding, the birds are placed in scalding machine with a cage and drawn through the scald water which automatically agitates the carcass in the water. It helps to soften the feather. After scalding the carcasses are removed and plucked.
Poultry scalding tank
Source: SENCE Agric
3. Eviscerating: The carcasses are arrive the evisceration room on a mobile rack. The offal is separated along with edible organs (the liver, heart and gizzard). The inedible offal is placed in the offal bin. It can either be carried out manually or fully automated using the Eviscerator.
4. Washing and Chilling: The inside is then washed in cold chlorinated water and chilled in cooled water. Several designs of chilling equipment are in use, including:
· Immersion chilling
· Static water chillers
· Spray chillers
Flow diagram of poultry processing
For more information on setting up a poultry processing plant, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
 Culled from: Avian Influenza Control and Human Pandemic Preparedness and Response Project National Baseline Survey http://www.aicpnigeria.org/documents/AICP%20Baseline%20Survey.pdf