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A Thesis Proposal Presented to

The School of Engineering and Architecture

Bau, Franz Harold C.

David, Jerick Rico P.

De Guzman, John Carlo G.

Flores, Louis Kevin L.

Manacmul, Fredrine R.

February 2017
Mechanized Defeathering process and optimal scalding temperature of chicken in Plaridel Bulacan


Food problem regardless of the stage of development of a country has always been

prevailing and in the Philippines, people have looked for solutions for the existing food problem.

However due to the exponential increase in population, the imbalance between the demand and

supply of food and other commodities still exist.

As a basic need, one of the major food sources in the Philippines come from the Poultry

Industry. Poultry is a class of domesticated fowl cultivated for their meats, eggs and feathers.

Typically, these are classified as the Galliformes such as chickens and turkeys, and Anseriformes

such as ducks and geese.

According to the Food Consumption Survey (FCS) of the National Nutrition Survey

(NNS) in 2015, chicken is one of the Top 20 Commonly Consumed Food Products Among

Filipino Households. Also, Philippine Statistics Authority stated that As of January 1, 2016, the

total chicken population was 178.77 million birds or 1.30 percent higher than last years total

stocks of 176.47 million birds. The inventory of layer and native/improved chicken went up by

3.04 percent and 2.87 percent, respectively. However broiler chicken inventory declined by 1.36

percent. Total chicken production in 2015 went up by 5.67 percent compared with last years

volume. Similarly, chicken egg production for 2015 increased by 6.95 percent from the 2014

level. Along with the slight increase in chicken production, the gross value at current prices for

2015 also went up by 1.29 percent or P144.79 billion compared with its value last year.

This increase in the demand and ways of generating the supply for food for the public has

provided employment opportunities to people. People are employed to manually remove or pluck
feathers from scalded fowls. However, studies have shown that the use of this manual de-

feathering operation have increased the humans exposure to occupational and health hazards.

Workers in manual de-feathering operations have faced a number of health and safety

issues. Some of which include musculoskeletal disorders, cuts, lacerations, skin rashes,

dermatitis and avian influenza virus which is why the researchers thought of an effective

mechanization of the process which will support quality, harmless, ergonomic and economic


The researchers think that the development of a user-friendly, reliable and efficient de-

feathering machine for poultry processing industry is vital in preventing accidents and

minimizing health hazards during processing operations of poultry carcass. The researchers think

that mechanized poultry is economical as it aims to develop a poultry de-feathering machine can

ease the plucking process. This machine will be are equipped with rubber fingers specifically

designed to remove the feathers and cleanse the chicken so that poisoning and contamination can

be prevented. This machine will also help in increasing the quantity of products prepared per




The Automated Chicken De-Feathering Machine will be developed using locally

available materials. The materials will be selected based on its availability, mechanical properties

and comparative cost. The machine will be designed to pluck feathers of chicken weighing 15-

20lbs. The factors that will be considered in the design of the machine in order for it to be

suitable for the consumers and suppliers include safety, portability, low cost of production,
manufacture capacity, availability and durability of materials, ease of modification, finishing,

and ease of operation.

Plucking is viewed as the removal of feather without the issues of tearing the skin, the

appearance of bones through the skin, or the excessive accumulation of blood due to the too

much applied pressure. As part of poultry processing in the industry, chickens must be

thoroughly plucked, and all feathers must be removed, including those that are most firmly

attached. The most common part of poultry plucker is the use of scalders which can help remove/

loosen wings and head with ease. These poultry products must be contained or kept at

comfortable conditions. In hot climates, heat stress needs to be prevented. When this chickens

suffer warmth surrounding, they will pant and this results in an excessive buildup of blood in the

legs and wings. If the above is followed in a well-organized manner, it is possible to reduce the

damage to chickens during plucking and so reduce operational costs.


The findings of this study will redound to the benefit of a small time poultry business in

Porac, Pampanga. The greater demand for the chickens on markets justifies the need for a more

effective and efficient way of cleaning and dressing the chickens.

Chicken farms that apply the recommended approach derived from the results of this

study will be able to efficiently and effectively dress chickens in a short period of time and

therefore increase the quantity of products per day. Poultry workers will be instructed on the

proper way of operating the Automated Chicken De-Feathering Machine and help them value the

process of dressing chickens in a convenient and faster way.


In the collection of data, the researchers will use a tachometer to measure the speed of the

motor to get the enough speed that is needed to run the machine accurately. A timer will also be

needed to measure the average time that needed in completely dressing the chicken. A

thermometer will also be used to measure the heat produce in the boiler. The researchers will

also use the resources available from the library and books in gathering information and data

about the machine.


De-feathering Process:

The de-feathering process will start by selecting the chickens with feathers to be plucked.

Then, by using a winding feeding mechanism made of simple crank rod with wooden handle, the

chicken will be lowered and soaked into the hot water. After which, using the galvanized steel

drum lined internally with rubber fingers, the chicken will be lowered and subjected into a rotary

motion by the transmitted torque from the electric motor. The chicken will be completely scalded

and all feathers will be continuously plucked by rubbing the carcass with the rubber fingers.

Experimental Procedure:

The effect of age, scalding temperature, duration and plucking force on both exotic and

local birds were checked for ease of de-feathering and skin appearance. Materials used for this

test include lagged container, stirrer, thermometer, stopwatch, boiling ring, feather stiffness

meter, de-feathering machine and matured local and exotic chickens. Sample of local and exotic

birds with average mass of 1.50 and 3.50 kg respectively were tested. The test procedure was as

follows: The lagged container was half filled with water which was heated using boiling ring. A

thermometer was introduced to check the temperature intermittently. A stirrer was used to agitate
the heated water to ensure uniformity in temperature. The hot water was poured inside the drum

and a test temperature for scalding is maintained inside the drum. At different temperatures of

55C, 60C, 65C, 70C, and 75C the exotic breed was dipped in the hot water and was held in

the water for 1 minute, 2 minutes and 3 minutes. Similar test was carried out on local bird at

temperatures of 65C, 70C, 75C, 80C, 85C, and 90C, for 5 minutes, 10minutes and

15minutes. A stopwatch was used to ensure accurate immersion duration. For each temperature

and immersion durations mix the scalded chicken was transfer to the test machine and de-

feathering was carried out in three replicates. Then the force for plucking the feather of the birds

was recorded. The plucking force for the un-scalded birds was also measured with the used of

feather stiffness meter (FSM) fixed on the fabricated de-feathering machine.


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