Gas Stunning Reduces Rejects In Spent Hen Processing
According to research conducted by the University of Georgia, the use of controlled atmosphere stunning for so-called spent hens (those no longer laying enough eggs to be considered profitable) will decrease the number of rejects and improve hen welfare.
Presently, commercial egg flocks are sold to a processing company for slaughter. Upon transfer, egg producers no longer view themselves as responsible for the welfare of the hens.
Caged egg layers easily develop osteoporosis and suffer from breakage after removal from cages. Each handling step in the process makes the likelihood of breakage even greater, particularly if the hen is shackled and stunned. Strong muscle contractions during stunning are likely to induce more breakage.
Bruce Webster, a poultry scientist at University of Georgia has conducted research and discovered that controlled atmosphere stunning can eliminate fear, stress, pain, and prevent further injury during handling. This will ultimately improve animal welfare and reduce bone breakage.