Humane Aire
CAS reduces bloodspotting significantly and provides greater yield through less trimming.

Working together

A processor’s decision to utilize CAS often comes because of serious thought given the cost and preparation involved with installing a new system. Miller Poultry’s dedication to producing chicken products for a customer base that finds certain attributes important, provided the basis for the company shifting to the new system.

“Miller Poultry strives to supply customers with superior quality fresh chicken products with attributes that are important to the antibiotic free and organic customer base,” says Kevin Diehl, director of operations at Miller Poultry. “CAS stunning fits well with our current list of attributes which includes Global Animal Partnership (GAP) certification, antibiotic free (ABF), organic, non-GMO project verified and air chilled to name a few.”

Miller Poultry’s dedication to GAP certification, antibiotic free, organic, non-GMO project verified, etc., provided Bright Coop and Midway Machine Technologies with a broad spectrum of products. This allowed the three companies to fine tune the system throughout the process.

“Miller is very unique because they have many different types of birds (ABF, organic…) and bird sizes. So, it was important to make sure we could handle all the variations with CAS,” Geertman says. “The results were better than we expected, with all the varieties and sizes working well in the system. This gives us an advantage knowing the system has the flexibility to work well with other producers and processors. The owner and staff at Miller Poultry are one of the finest in the industry. They have depth and ability to solve problems and be successful in any situation.”

The collaboration between Miller Poultry, Midway Machine Technologies and Bright Coop proved valuable to each company involved. By working together throughout the process, each company played a role in developing the system with greater detail devoted to certain aspects wanted relative to specific processing methods and standards concerning humane handling.

“For the development, Miller provided the information and results needed to be successful,” Geertman says. “Proper animal handling methods are critical in this process and a small problem can be the difference between success and failure. Miller has extensive experience in animal welfare practices and does the audits to back it up.”

Depending on the individual situation, installation of CAS systems can take from six months to one year from the time of serious commitment to operation. Plants need to prepare for the new system and engineering support is provided to be successful.

“We remodeled with significant upgrades to an existing live receiving building to allow adequate space for the system in a totally enclosed, climate controlled building,” Diehl explains. “We also made significant changes to the shackling area focusing on animal welfare and employee comfort.”