Poster in Sep 13, 2023 13:03:01

Are the birds stunned or having seizures?

Are the birds stunned or having seizures?

Water-bath stunning is a process with an electric current of a sufficient minimum amperage that is passed from an electrified water bath through the head and body of the birds to the metal shackles from which the legs hang the birds. The birds are rendered temporarily unconscious & and electrically immobilized due to this current's broad epileptiform activity in their brains.

In this article, I'd like to share with you some key technical points that are worthwhile to revisit periodically. The functionality and efficiency of the boiler stunning mechanism are crucial because it directly affects whether meat is accepted for humane consumption in our Muslim communities, as well as the quality of the meat that is produced.

There are other significant, strict regulations that must be followed for animal killing to be considered acceptable in Islam, aside from the variables that are specifically stated for approved stunning in electrical water baths. Manually killing the animal with a single cut with a sharp knife, maintaining the head on the neck until the entire amount of blood has been drawn from the body, and, of course, claiming the name of Allah on top of all other conditions.

Should birds be temporarily rendered unconscious when stunned?

The answer is "YES", In response to the electrical frequency, current must cause generalized epileptiform activity in the birds' brains, causing reversible stunning, while at a certain level current may also influence the birds' hearts, causing permanent cardiac arrest, which would result in an irreversible unconsciousness.

When birds are subjected to electrical water-bath stunning delivering inadequate currents, they may show seizures visually indistinguishable from effectively stunned birds. depending on the frequencies, the current may potentially harm the bird's heart, resulting in permanent cardiac arrest, in which case the stunning will be irreversible.

Exposure of birds to low currents for long durations will not render the birds unconscious, but they may not show any physical signs of consciousness.

Sizure may have occurred at lower current and frequency levels than what we believe as a result. Electrical frequencies above 800 Hz would require a minimum current greater than 200 mA to induce epileptiform activity in broilers' electroencephalograms (EEGs).

What factors contribute to successful water bath stunning?

Several factors contributed to the success of an electrical water bath stunning system works. These elements fall into two broad categories: biological and physical. The effectiveness of electrical water baths may be influenced by any one of the following physical elements alone or in combination.

* The waveform (alternating current (AC) or pulsed direct current (DC)

* Frequency (Hz)

* Amount (mA) of current delivered to birds

* The exposure time must be at least 4 seconds

Current Vs Ampere

* Current is the rate at which electrons flow past a point in a complete electrical circuit. At its most basic, current = flow.

* Ampere (AM-pir), or amp, is the international unit used for measuring current. It expresses the number of electrons (sometimes called "electrical charge") flowing past a point in a circuit over a given time.

Minimum recommended average currents and Frequency

In general, the waveform (bipolar alternating or unipolar pulses), frequency (Hz), and quantity of current (Amp) provided to individual birds in the bath all affect how successful electrical water-bath stunning is.

It was suggested that broilers might be effectively stunned in a water bath at electrical frequencies of up to 200, 600, and 800 Hz, respectively, with a minimum constant current of 100, 150, and 200 mA.

Successful Stunning

The illustration above demonstrates that at a current level of 150 mA, the likelihood of a successful stun was greater than 90%. At 200 Hz, roughly 40% at 400 Hz, and less than 5% for frequencies beyond 600 Hz.

General Considerations for Successful Stunning in water-bath systems :

* The use of sine wave AC is better than pulsed direct current

* The minimum current required to achieve effective stunning varies with the frequency of the current.

* Pulse width is critical when using pulsed direct current.

* The electrical settings must be appropriate for the largest and smallest birds in the flock.

* It is always more important to monitor the amperage rather than the voltage since the electrical resistance of the circuits can vary within the same establishment

* Avoid pre-stunned shocks

* Maintain proper bird shackling

The best way to render birds unconscious and while immobilized, it is widely acknowledged, is to use high current and low frequency, although doing so could result in poor-quality meat. It would therefore be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve good welfare and acceptable meat quality.
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