Poultry are domesticated birds that are kept by humans to produce eggs, for their feathers, meat and organs. Offal is the internal organs of a dead animal that may or may not be eaten as food, depending on where you are in the world. When most people think of poultry and they meat they produce, they probably think of chicken first. However, here are many kinds of poultry including geese, ducks, turkeys, quail and others types. Now that you know the basics on poultry, lets see how the process of producing and exporting poultry works.
The Process of Exporting Poultry
Poultry that is raised with the purpose of commercial meat production are called boiler poultry. The four main methods for raising poultry are organic, free-range, indoor with higher welfare and indoor. In the organic method poultry is raised free-range but with restrictions on the use of food and water medications, food and water additives and synthetic amino acids. The organic method is the only one with any kind of restrictions on what can be put into the poultry. The poultry must also have a minimum of 2 square meters (21 square feet) per bird. It generally takes 12 weeks for the poultry to reach slaughter weight. In the free-range method poultry is raised also raised free-range. In free-range there is 1 square meter (10 square feet) per bird. It generally takes 8 weeks for the poultry to reach slaughter weight. The poultry in the indoor with higher welfare method is raised indoors in an environment with natural light and straw bales to encourage healthier, normal behavior. In this method there are around 13 birds per square meter (10 square feet). It generally takes 6 to 8 weeks for the poultry to reach slaughter weight. In the indoor method the poultry is raised indoors in a environment that uses ventilation systems to pump in air. Air inside can become polluted with ammonia due to the bird droppings and lack natural light. Traditionally each bird in this method gets anywhere from eight-tenths of a square foot (0.07 square meters) to one half a square foot (0.04 square meters). Poultry raised in this method are the unhealthiest, with high rates of leg deformities because of their enhanced breast muscles, which also strain their heart and lungs. It generally takes 5-7 weeks for the poultry to reach slaughter weight.
The birds are transported via truck to the slaughterhouse. They are then taken to a dark room illuminated by a red light to keep them calm as they are attached to continuously moving shackles by the legs. Then the birds are stunned unconscious by running their heads through water that conducts an electric current. Then the birds are killed by having their jugular veins and carotid arteries cut at the neck wither by hand or from a machine. Then they are give time to bleed out properly, so that the meat is not affected. After this the birds carcass goes through scalding tanks which softens the skin and makes the next step of defeathering the birds more easily. After this the carcasses pass through a wall and have their heads pulled off mechanically and their legs removed via knife. After this the carcass go through the evisceration process where they have all their organs removed, either mechanically or by hand. At this point the carcass is inspected by government inspectors, veterinarians or someone else depending on a countries laws. After passing inspection the carcasses either go through water chilling, which is the general standard in North America, or air chilling, which is the general standard in Europe.
Processing (Fresh and Frozen differences)
If after all of that the purpose is to produce fresh poultry then the carcass is cut into a bunch of different pieces, placed in a plastic foam tray and covered with plastic film. Fresh poultry should be used within two to three weeks after slaughter. If the purpose is to make frozen poultry then the carcass is usually injected with various flavorings, oils and salts in order to increase the juiciness of the meat. Then it is vacuum packed into plastic bags and frozen in a powerful freezer. Frozen poultry should generally be used within three months.
Fresh poultry meat must be transported to the supermarket within a matter of days and is not normally transported over long distances. Trucks are the most common transportation method and have a chilled area to keep the fresh poultry at the correct temperature. Frozen poultry meat can be transported all over the world and can taken a few weeks to arrive at a supermarket. Frozen poultry can be transported by train, boat or airplane to its destination and then is taken by trucks to where it needs to go. Frozen poultry is transported in frozen containers, that keep the meat frozen so it does not thaw out.
Uses of Poultry
Poultry is the second most eaten meat globally. Generally poultry meat is divided up into breast meat (flight muscles on the chest), drumstick or thigh meat (walking muscle on the legs) and wings (wing meat). There are also two varieties, dark meat and light meat. There are many different kinds of poultry meat eaten all across the globe including chicken, duck, goose, ostrich, turkey, quail, pheasant and more. Poultry is also used in pet food.
Top Importers of Poultry
According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) the world's biggest importer is Germany, who alone imports 6.4% of the world's poultry meat exports, closely followed by the United Kingdom at 6.2%. Rounding out the top five are Hong Kong at 5.8% of global imports, Saudi Arabia (5.3%), and Japan (5.0%). The biggest importers in other regions of the world include Mexico with 4.7% of global imports in North America, Venezuela (2.5%) in South America, Angola (1.7%) in Africa, and Australia (0.13%) in Oceania.