Yield analysis at a poultry processing plant in Harare, Zimbabwe
This investigation was conducted to establish the yield of parts or organs of chickens brought for slaughter at a poultry processing plant in Harare. Results of the study will furnish management and other poultry farmers with information that will enable them to identify yield losses and sustainable ways of minimizing resultant costs. To determine the yield, a sample of 50 live birds of different mass range was taken and their masses recorded. The birds used in the first run were obtained from different growers and mixed to form the batch. The bird weights were grouped in the following categories: 800-100g, 100-1200g, 1200-1400g, 1400-1600g and 1600-1800g. Ten samples per each mass category were taken and the live masses of the birds were recorded before the commencement of the operations. The mass of each carcass was recorded at the various levels of processing that included bleeding, plucking, removal of head, feet, offals and neck to obtain the clean carcass. The processes were repeated with bird batches from four different growers, namely farms A, B, C and D in order to make broader comparisons and assessments. Calculations were carried out to determine percentage losses at various levels of processing activities. The mass of the clean bird was found to be directly proportional to the mass of the live bird. The percent yield of feathers, neck, head, blood and offals was almost independent of the mass of the bird. Percent yield for similar organs was comparable from one grower to another (p> 0.05). On average, 70% of the live mass of the bird was utilizable while 30% was lost on removal of visceral organs, feathers and blood. Feathers constituted a by-product with the highest percentage followed by the intestines. Other uses of feathers, besides rendering, should be identified to maximise on income generated from their utilization.
Key words: Yield, Poultry, Feathers, Live, Birds