Electrical stunning of poultry

Bert Lambooij, Vincent Hindle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter provides a summary of the latest electrical stunning methods for poultry in relation to EU and OIE legislature concerning animal welfare at killing. These are evaluated in relation to animal welfare, effectiveness, efficiency, esthetic consideration of the operator, skill requirements, health risks, and legislative restrictions. Legislation requires that poultry are sufficiently relaxed when restrained to facilitate an effective stun. Restraining the inverted bird is possible by placing in a shackle line or by placing in a cone line. Electrical stunning administers sufficient electricity through the skull of an animal to induce generalized epileptiform activity in the brain. In a water bath, it is recommended to apply sufficient power to force the current through the body and induce unconsciousness and a cardiac arrest. An alternative method, still in the experimental phase, is Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. Results show that the method has potential for application as a noninvasive stunning method for broilers.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Poultry Welfare
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9780081009154
ISBN (Print)9780081009307
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cone stunning
  • Electrical stunning
  • Muscle spasms
  • Poultry
  • Restraining
  • Unconsciousness
  • Water bath stunning

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    Lambooij, B., & Hindle, V. (2018). Electrical stunning of poultry. In Advances in Poultry Welfare (pp. 77-98). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-100915-4.00004-X