Current and novel methods for killing poultry individually on-farm

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This review examines methods for culling small numbers of poultry on farm, considering both common techniques and methods that are yet to be tested on poultry. The aim of this review is to inform the design of experiments that will assess the pros and cons of culling techniques. The methods reviewed include manual and mechanical cervical dislocation, crushing methods (such as burdizzos or pliers), percussive devices, blunt force trauma and a brain-stem piercing device. Previous work on these approaches, of which there is a limited dataset, has relied on behavioural and brain activity as proxy measures of unconsciousness (insensibility) and death, however there remains some uncertainty as to when birds can be considered unequivocally insensible. These factors will be considered when deciding which of the methods will be recommended to be taken forward for further assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737 - 758
Number of pages22
JournalWorld's Poultry Science Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPrint publication - 2014

Bibliographical note



  • Culling
  • Novel techniques
  • Poultry
  • Welfare

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    Dale Sandercock

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    Victoria Sandilands

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    Nick Sparks

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