METHOD FOR CAUSING SITTING POULTRY TO
STAND UP AND APPARATUS FOR CARRYING
OUT THIS METHOD
The invention relates to a method for causing sitting poultry to stand up.
In the modern poultry processing industry generally an assembly line processing is carried out in which the birds are suspended with their legs in correspondingly shaped transportation shackles of a suspension conveyor. Presently suspending the birds in the transportation shackles is carried out manually; at the present high processing rates this is very strenuous labour, besides of being monotonous and soul-killing. Therefore, one desires to automatize suspending the birds in the transportation shackles.
Such an automation can be obtained by gripping the legs of the birds from behind by means of the transportation shackles of the suspension conveyor which at that time slide over the ground. However, it is necessary then that at the very moment of engagement the birds are standing up.
When supplying poultry alive one can observe that the greater part of the poultry is sitting down, such that a correct engagement of the transportation shackles is nearly impossible. Therefore, there is a need for causing the birds to stand up on their legs just before the moment of engagement of the transportation shackles. However, also for other processing steps or actions it may be necessary that the birds-are standing up.
In the past already attempts have been made for causing poultry to stand up. Some solutions (such as vibrating the supporting plane) did not appear to be very effective, whereas other solutions, such as shortly electrically charging the supporting plane, are very animal unkind and therefore cannot be considered for application.
Thus, it is an object of the invention to provide a 49 method for causing poultry to stand up which is very effective and which can be applied without objections.
Thus, in the method according to the invention the abdomen of the poultry is brought into contact with a liquid.
Surprisingly it appeared that sitting poultry will stand up immediately if its abdomen is brought into contact with a liquid. The response is very large, such that no or hardly any bird remains sitting.
The method according to the invention is especially then very effective, if the liquid is sprayed against the abdomen of the poultry. In this way with a minimal amount of liquid a maximum effect can be obtained..
Another possibility provides that the poultry is led through a shallow liquid basin. At the moment that the abdomen of the poultry contacts the liquid surface the bird will immediately stand up.
According to a handy embodiment of the method according to the invention the liquid comprises water.
Further there is the possibility that a gas stream, such as air, is blown against the abdomen of the poultry. Thus in this case the liquid is replaced by a gas stream.
The invention further relates to an apparatus for carrying out the method according to the invention.
Therefore, this apparatus comprises a supply unit for 65 supplying the poultry and a spraying unit or blowing nozzle, respectively, positioned in the close vicinity of the supply unit for spraying the liquid or blowing the
gas stream, respectively, against the abdomen of the poultry sitting on the supply unit.
For minimizing the use of liquid it can be advantageous if below the spraying unit a liquid collecting reservoir is positioned for collecting the liquid and refeeding it to the spraying unit.
In this context it is further profitable if a detection means is positioned beside the supply unit for detecting the poultry and correspondingly activating the spraying unit or blowing nozzle, respectively. Like this one can attain that the spraying unit or blowing nozzle is only active when a bird is positioned exactly thereabove. On the one hand this means a saving of liquid or gas, whereas on the other hand the surprising effect of spraying or blowing is not lost.
Hereafter the invention will be elucidated further by means of the only figure, which shows schematically an embodiment of an apparatus for carrying out the method according to the invention, using a liquid.
By means of a supply unit 1, which in the shown embodiment comprises a conveyor belt 2 extending around guide rollers 3, the poultry 4 is supplied in a sitting condition in the direction of the arrow. At the foremost end of the conveyor belt 2 the poultry 4 is passed to another conveyor belt 5 which, as is indicated schematically by a dotted line, is permeable for liquid. Immediately below this conveyor belt 5 a spraying unit 6 is positioned, for example a spraying nozzle, which can spray upwardly water or the like through the conveyor belt 5.
The spraying unit 6 is via a pump 7 and a valve 8 connected with a liquid collecting reservoir 9. This collecting reservoir 9 extends below the conveyor belt 5 and the spraying unit 6. Liquid collecting reservoir 9 serves also as a graphical representation of the abovementioned shallow liquid basin above which poultry 4 may be led, generally as illustrated in the figure.
Further a suspension conveyor comprising transportation shackles 10 is illustrated schematically. Again the direction of transportation of this suspension conveyor is indicated by means of arrows. The empty transportation shackles are supplied in a free suspending state and will eventually rest slidingly on the conveyor belt 5. In this respect it is necessary that the transportation velocity of the suspension conveyor 11 is larger than the transportation velocity of the conveying belt 5, such that the transportation shackles 10 will catch up the poultry on the conveyor belt 5. The transportation shackles 10 are adapted for gripping the legs (preferably the ankle joints) of the poultry 4.
The apparatus functions as follows: when the poultry 4 is passed from the conveyor belt 2 to the conveyor belt 5 it reaches the spraying unit 6, such that the abdomen of the poultry 4 is brought into contact with the liquid stream sprayed by the spraying unit 6. As a result the poultry stands up so that the legs can be correctly engaged by the transportation shackles 10 closing into the poultry 4 from behind. At the end of the conveyor belt 5 the poultry falls backwardly downwards and will be suspended upside-down from the suspension conveyor 11, as represented at the extreme left side in the figure. Next the poultry can be presented for further processing.
Not shown in the figure is a detection means which possibly can be positioned beside and above the conveyor belt 5, for example at a short distance ahead of the spraying unit 6. This detection means detects the passage of a bird sitting on the conveyor belt 5 and activates the spraying unit 6. For this the detection means is connected to the pump 7 and the valve 8 via a control means.