Gateway to poultry production and products

Processing systems

Large-scale processors operate their own abattoirs where poultry are slaughtered, processed, graded, packaged, stored and distributed either for direct sale or under contract to other large organizations such as supermarkets. While whole birds are the leading items sold, poultry meat can be further processed into various products from simple cuts to oven-ready meals. In recent decades, consumer preference has shifted from fresh, whole birds to cut-up bird parts and convenience products.

In most small-scale abattoirs in developing countries, slaughter is carried out manually using simple tools. After being killed, birds are scalded in hot water and then plucked and eviscerated, mostly by hand. The meat may then be sold dressed (slaughtered, bled and plucked); eviscerated and ready to cook; in poultry parts (legs, wings, etc.); or deboned (muscle, fat and skin only).

Eggs may be sold either as table eggs or processed into egg products that go into a wide range of food products, including soups, sauces, cakes, biscuits and desserts. Making egg products involves breaking the shells, filtering, mixing, stabilizing, blending, pasteurizing, cooling, freezing or drying, and finally packaging.