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Lighting in the 543 area: The objective of this study was to investigate if blue lighting could reduce broiler stress and comply abtn legal labor comfort requirements in a new shackling area of a middle-size processing plant.

In this study, the old shackling area was compared with the new area, where a blue lighting system was designed and implemented according to the regulations. The old and new areas were video- and audio-recorded during the shackling of 33, broilers in each area. Data were statistically analyzed using the non-parametric test of Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney w test. The study demonstrated that it is possible to conciliate better animal welfare with visual comfort for workers in the shackling area.

Broilers, pre-slaughter operations, lighting, animal welfare, lighting comfort. Quality attributes of animal products include good production practices and their association with animal welfare and mbr wellbeing, as well as food safety and environmental aspects, which determine the ethics of animal production UBA, The legislation on animal welfare has greatly developed during the last few years.

In the United Kingdom, for instance, each processing plant must have a worker trained on bird welfare to oversee unloading, lair age, and slaughter ACP, Animal rearing and rearing technologies are dynamic fields that can have positive or negative influences on animal welfare.

A pro-active approach, aiming at ensuring that neither technological development nor animal welfare are compromised, is recommended Clark et al. Pre-slaughter aversive conditions and consequent physical and mental stressors affect both animal production meat yield and quality and welfare.

These issues are related, as discussed by Gregory in an article on animal welfare and carcass hygiene.

Lighting can have a positive or negative mbr on broiler welfare because it affects their behavior.

Lighting in the shackling area: conciliating broiler welfare with labor comfort

Lighting is widely used for the manipulation of the behavior of meat-type poultry Nixey, ; Lewis et al. Light distribution, duration, and intensity have a direct effect on flock performance and welfare. Adequate positioning and distribution of light sources stimulate birds to seek feed, water, and heat during the starter phase.

During the grower phase, lighting can be used to moderate weight gain and to improve production efficiency and health of a flock Mendes et al. Color perception of poultry is similar to that of humans, except for short-wave light. This has been used to improve the handling of broilers during catching. The peaks of sensitivity of three types of cones in the human eye allow the perception of primary colors: When all cones are simultaneously stimulated, the brain preceives the light as white.

Bird activity is reduced as light intensity diminishes. Using controlled and reduced lighting during catching minimizes possible physical and or emotional damages during this operation Kristensen et al. Blue light is recommended during catching, as the visual perception of broilers is greatly impaired, and therefore, they are not distressed.

This could be extrapolated to the shackling sector of broiler processing plants, where reduced lighting with blue light is also recommended.

Due to environmental changes and handling to which broilers are submitted during shackling, stress is more intense and it is expressed as struggling, abnr may lead to processing losses, including broken bones, bruises, and meat quality defects like pale, soft, and exudative meat PSE or dry, firm and dark meat DFD.

Workers must be properly nbe, because skillful annt fast shackling minimizes broiler stress. In addition, the environment must have good ventilation, low noise, and adequate lighting. The use of reduced light intensity and blue work clothes are recommended in order not to startle the birds and to transmit calmness Komiyama, Ludtke, and Silveira, The objective of the present study was the effect of environmental lighting on broiler stress by behavioral observations and by quantifying their struggle in the shackling sector of a processing plant.


In this study, a conventional lighting system was 543 with brighter lighting system designed to provide better visual comfort to workers in compliance with the Brazilian regulations ABNT. The company has a nnbr mill, a hatchery, breeder farms, and contracted farmers, and sells chicken products to the south, southeast, north, and northeast regions Brazil, as well as exports them to Asian countries.

The company is expanding and remodeling its slaughter, processing, and furtherprocessing lines, using cutting-edge machinery and automated equipment.

This expansion will be gradual, as it involves the other structures breeder farms, hatchery, and broiler farms.

In the first step, an existing shackling sector was evaluated. Blue lighting blue fluorescent lamps and natural light, which came from openings to the external area were used. This step was called “old shackling area”. The second step included the design and installation of fluorescent blue lamps with higher lighting intensity to promote better visual comfort to the xbnt. It was called “new shackling area”.

The number of times broilers flapped their wings in shackling line sector A was counted. Sector A included the distance between the last shackling station and the entrance to the stunner. Video recordings were bbr along the mentioned shackling line using a Canon Power Shot S camera always from a fixed position. Recording were made to include all possible variables: Recordings were made in the new and the old shackling areas. The company works with a single broiler genetic strain Cobb Data collection between the old and the new area was carried out as close as possible, but It was not possible to be simultaneous because of the works in the plant at the time of first collection.

Therefore, the interval between data collections was three months. In addition of the recordings, the following data were measured: Temperature was measured using a thermometer Instrutherm, model TGD with a data logger, and a hygrometer.

Temperature, relative humidity, and luminosity were collected at the beginning of each videorecording, 13 times daily, for five days. Because it is a closed environment, temperature and relative humidity were measured in a single spot, near the shackling abnr. Luminosity was measured at three fixed spots of the shackling line beginning, middle, and end of the video-recorded line stretch at the birds’ head height. Environmental noise was measured using a decibel meter every second, simultaneously wbnt 13 daily videorecordings.

After data in the old area was collected, the new lighting of the new shackling area was designed, and measurements were made. Lighting design of the new area try to conciliate the reduction of broiler stress as measured by agitation with better working conditions and abn lighting comfort for the workers, according to regulation NBR of ABNT. An intermediate lighting intensity at the work stations was applied. This is called the method of average lumen lighting and it nrb the most adequate for routine work abnnt a fixed working station.

Light nnr was determined considering the classification of the work in the shackling area as “tasks with limited visual requirement, gross machinery work, and auditoriums” of that regulation.

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Therefore, a required average light intensity of lux was determined NBR The size of the lighting system also considered shackling area dimensions width, length, heightestimated reflections of the roof, walls, and floor, and light flow of the blue fluorescent lamps.

Based on this data, the utilization factor was determined as 0. Considering that the area is a source of dirt emissions and that lamp maintenance and cleaning are made every 7, h, a depreciation factor of 0.

Using the information on the environment and utilization and depreciation factor, the number of lamps required to obtain the desired light intensity of lux in the new shackling area was calculated as This number is relatively high when compared with the number of conventional lamps that would be required because the light flow of the blue lamps abng in the market is only lumen, and because the area is relatively high 5.


An alternative for reducing the number of lamps would be to reduce the height where 5143 would be installed, using hanging lamps. However, this option was rejected by the company, which standard is to install the lamps on the ceiling in order to prevent dirt accumulation and cleaning problems. Lighting was measured in three different points of the video-recorded shackling line beginning, middle, endat birds’ head height. As previously mentioned, light intensity was measured at three points 1, 2 and 3according to shackling flow.

Point 1 corresponded to the station of the last abjt worker, point 2 along the shackling line, and point 3 to the entrance to the stunner. The method of evaluation applied to the new shackling area, after the blue lighting system was installed, was identical as that applied in the old shackling area, using the same video-recordings intervals, and humidity, temperature, noise, and luminosity data were recorded using the equipment described above.

Considering processing line speed and observation intervals, approximately 67, broilers agnt observed or 33, in the old shackling area and 33, in the new shackling area.

The wing-flapping values obtained in broilers shackled in the old and the new areas are shown in Tables 1 and 2respectively. As there were two groups, the medians of wing abntt in the old A pa and new A pn shackling areas were compared. The null hypothesis was that wing-flapping values were not different between the new and the old areas H: The alternative hypothesis was that there was more wing-flapping in the old area compared with the new area H: The values of wing-flapping are shown in Tables 1 and 2respectively.

The results show that the null hypothesis H 0: There were some concerns with the 3-month interval between environmental data collection in the old and new areas.

The new area presented less environmental variability, possibly because it presented abht insulation from the external area compared with the old area. The conditions may be considered mild in both situations, complyingwith one of the assumptions of the study, which was not nvr the influence of climate into consideration.

Noise results as measured in the old and new area are discussed below. The decibelimeter recorded instantaneous values every abbt. The expected value was 39, readings in minutes 39, seconds.

The obtained results were slightly different.

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In the old shackling area, noise was recorded for approximately 11h5min 39, readings and for 10h38min 38, readings. The null hypothesis was that noise nbbr not different between the new and the old areas H 0: The alternative hypothesis was that noise was higher in the old area compared with the new area H 1: The reduction of noise in the new area was 2.

Therefore, the new area presented more favorable conditions both for broilers and workers in terms of noise.

Table 4 presents a summary of measurements, including the median mstandard deviation s and the coefficient of variation of lighting cv at the evaluated spots. According 5431 the measurements, the new shackling area has better lighting; however, this not result in more bird activity wing flapping or more stress Barbosa et al. The higher variability of the old area is due to the influence of natural lighting.

The lighting of the new area was close to the recommendations of NBR for work stations, of lux. This was particularly the case of point 1, where average lighting level increased Out of the points evaluated, it is the one that best represents lighting where the workers shackle the birds.

It should be noted that better lighting allows better worker performance, as they will have less bbr in shackling the broilers because they can see better what they are doing, which will also result in less broiler trauma and bruises. Blue lighting in the shackling area of broiler processing plants contributes to reduce bird struggling.

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