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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 8 October 2001 Issue

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Turkey Downgrading at Slaughter

209 Survey of turkey downgrading at slaughter: carcass defects and associations with transport, toenail trimming, and type of bird.

Abstract: For 18 mo, tom, hen, and broiler turkeys processed in a single abattoir were observed for carcass defects resulting in downgrading.  Samples of 100 turkeys per truckload were used to determine the proportion of turkeys requiring wing trim, half wing trim, and trimming for bruised drums, breast blisters, or breast buttons, leg, breast, or back scratches, and leg edema.  Bird type (hen, tom, or broiler), truck, time on truck, farm of origin, and trimming of toenails and spurs were also noted.   Multiple least squares linear regression was used to assess the associations among truck, time on truck, space per bird on truck, toenail trimming, spur clipping, and proportions of truckloads of turkeys with carcass defects.  The effect of farm and bird type were adjusted for in regression models.  Overall, downgrading was observed to be a significant problem in turkey production and processing.  Among toms, hens, and broilers there were substantial differences in the rates of bruised drums, breast buttons or blisters, back and leg scratches, and leg edema.  Toenail trimming was associated with reduced breast and leg scratches and spur clipping was associated with reduced back scratches. Increased time birds were held on trucks was associated with increased half wing trim and bruised drums.  Few associations were observed among downgrading defects, the various trucks used during the study, and space available to birds on trucks.


209) NAL Call. No.: 47.8 AM33P Survey of turkey downgrading at slaughter: carcass defects and associations with transport, toenail trimming, and type of bird. McEwen, S.A.; Barbut, S. Champaign, Ill. : Poultry Science Association; 1992 Jul. Poultry science v. 71 (7): p. 1107-1115; 1992 Jul. Includes references.


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