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Duration of wing flapping in chickens shackled before slaughter
  1. NG Gregory and
  2. JC Bell
  1. Agricultural and Food Research Council, Institute of Food Research, Langford, Bristol.


Shackling can induce wing flapping in chickens. In this survey of 30 chicken processing plants the proportion of birds flapping their wings had usually subsided to less than 0.5 per cent after the birds had been conveyed 2 m away from the shackling area. Thereafter, there were many causes of wing flapping, of which the following were thought to be important; tight fitting shackles on the birds' shanks, electric shocks at the water bath stunner before stunning, sudden bright sunlight, bends in the line, temporary loss of visual contact between neighbouring birds, and unevenness in the line which jolted the birds. If it is decided that legislation is required to prescribe a minimum 'hang-on' period before stunning it is suggested that birds should not be put through the stunner less than 12 seconds after shackling because after this time 99.7 per cent of the birds had stopped flapping.

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