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September 30, 2022
Poultry & Livestock Review Africa
Featured Poultry Processing

Part 1: Key performance indicators for poultry processing

The meat market is an environment of intense competition and the commercialisation requirements increases the need to preserve and guarantee the credibility of the way the animals are slaughtered, and the carcasses processed in slaughterhouses, ensuring food safety, and at the same time presenting a good economic result of operational viability.

The performance of industrial operations in slaughterhouses results from:

  1. The interaction of variables that depend on the characteristics of the raw material received (especially related to the carcass yield), considering the health of the flocks.
  2. The proper use of the carcasses during the operational procedures.
  3. Considerations of the costumer’s expectations and the markets requirements.

Interaction of variables

To obtain good results in the industrial performance, even before processing, we consider that the performance of the animals in a flock depends on the variables related to genetics and nutrition, being influenced by the uniformity of the flocks, as well as by the farming facilities. Therefore, the interaction of the variables such as animals, management, nutrition, facilities and ultimately sanitation status will determine how the performance will be during the industrial processing. It is characterised by the raw material received, considering the live weight received and the flock uniformity, and even the total number of animals effectively available for the slaughter and the processing conditions (carcass integrity and slaughter line speed).

The integrity of the carcasses takes into account the sanitary conditions of the animals received, determined by the indicator of sanitary sentences criteria, expressed in condemned kg, in condemned animal units total or partially. Consider still the need to distinguish between causes, considering whether the causes of condemnation.

The time variable influences, in a decisive way, the operations depending on the of the number of animals slaughtered, or the number in kg processed per hour of processing.

This variable depends on:

  • the size or weight of the animals slaughtered
  • need for reprocessing of carcasses due to sanitary and non-sanitary condemnations
  • of the slaughter equipment’s conditions
  • of the dimensions of the environment, the number of personnel available for the operations, as well as the degree of mechanisation of the processes

In this way, the variable attributed to the number of employees associated with processing, and the variable kg of meat obtained, depending on the time, indicates productivity by kg-processed/man/hour.

Impact of diseases on processing parameters

Several diseases can impact in the processing parameters as carcass yield and kg-processed/man/hour.

  • IB (Infectious Bronchitis):

IBV infections can cause clinical signs in the poultry respiratory system which the impact will be well observed in the field and processing performance results.

Important to be noted that subclinical infections will cause impact in parameters as condemnations, and mortality during transport from the farm to slaughterhouse.

  • IBD (Gumboro Disease):

Gumboro Disease protection is one of the bases for the immunity system for a broiler. This way, it will contribute for the broiler health.

It was already observed in several poultry operations, that the disease can cause impact specially on the broiler flock uniformity and its operational performance in the speed during slaughterhouse. The carcass and breast yield and the lower contamination of final product was appointed during field research (PSA 2021).

These parameters as condemnations and flock uniformity will influence as well as on the productivity of the processing plant, as well as the slaughter line speed, and impact directly in the profitability of the operation.

Photo: Ceva Sante Animale
Photo: Ceva Sante Animale

Analysis of indicators

In the method of calculation and the interpretation of the main performance indicators and their implications for the operational result in the poultry processing, it is necessary that these data be obtained in a cartesian and systematic way.

That is, based on methodology and instrumental appropriate to the conditions in which the processes are carried out (procedure standardised operating and instrumental calibration); taking care of the necessary frequency with which these data are obtained; and that allows the repetition of the method, the correct transcription and feeding of a reliable database and agile enough to carry out a subsequent analysis of the data, helping to increase the industry performance, and helping to evaluate the quality attributes of the products.

The training of personnel for data collection and monitoring of processes deserves special attention, just as it is essential to carry out the regular monitoring of how the data is obtained, if the frequency is adequate, if the instruments are adjusted as prescribed, and if the procedures to minimise possible adjustments that may occur during monitoring or data collection. These deviations or adaptations can distort the analysis and interpretation of key indicators, impacting decision making, operational and product cost.

It is necessary to ensure that the data is available, adding benchmarking, in a way to contribute to the decisions by the managers, considering the best performance of operations.

The key is to keep in mind that the transformation process in the plant can be optimised continuously, as long as there is regularity in these processes of collection and analysis of data, in the discussion and interpretation of performance indicators, as well as establishing feasible goals of be targeted. To maintain the link between flocks information and client requirements contributes to improve the operational performance in slaughterhouse.

The costs of slaughter play a special role in the operational performance and in the industries competitivity.

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