The best live bird handling system money can buy

The best live bird handling system money can buy

Poultry processors worldwide turn to Meyn for the perfect fitting solution for their live bird handling process. Meyn has the most versatile portfolio, including state-of-the-art automatic trailer (un)loading and other unique solutions. The new Meyn Grande drawer system is now the best-in-class with the highest return on investment for poultry processors all over the world.

Meyn anticipates on the different demands around the globe. These demands are changing rapidly because of changing regulations and customer demands. At Meyn, a dedicated team gathers global info and works together with poultry processors, scientists and NGO’s to learn from their experiences. Nowadays, the key challenges in live bird handling are animal welfare and bio-security in addition to capacity and reliability.

Animal Welfare

Loading birds at the farm is done manual and/or automatic. Both methods require good trained people and equipment to enable careful and efficient loading. It is important that the loading opening of the transport module is wide and open so that the birds can enter without hitting the sides. After loading a compartment, a final check ensures that the birds are sitting upright before closing the compartment.

When using systems with one large compartment per level, loading must wait after each level filled and checked. With two large drawers per level, like in the Meyn Grande drawer module, loading is more efficient without risking animal welfare. While one drawer is checked and closed, the other drawer is loaded and vice versa.

Poultry in transit from farm to processing line is vulnerable. Therefore micro climate between the birds is extremely important for animal welfare and product quality. Modern broilers produce a lot of heat and moist which must be removed from the transport module, to prevent the temperature and humidity rising to risk (trouble) levels. The only way to cope with this stressful situation is ventilating air horizontally through the modules.

Height is critical; broilers above 1.8 kg live weight, require 255 mm height to ensure sufficient free space above them to ventilate. Using lower heights, in combination with plastic sides, has shown to cause heat stress with several negative quality effects.

Besides providing sufficient height for ventilation, it is important that the birds are equally divided over the available space. Large modules with a surface for loading >80 birds in one compartment, following the European regulation for protection of animals during transport (EU1/2005), have the risk that birds clog together on one side and that birds in the middle are suffocated.

The Meyn Grande drawer system is based on 255 mm high drawers, holding 35 birds (2 kg LW) each. The Grande drawers have sufficient height and have proven to divide the birds well in warm conditions, keeping the microclimate around the birds within the comfort zone.

Meyn Grande drawer system

The new Meyn Grande drawer system can be adjusted to local (required) circumstances, but an obvious configuration would be:

  • Trailer unloading
  • Module infeed with buffer platform
  • De-stacker
  • Drawer push-out unit with weigher
  • Hanging platform
  • Cleaning
  • Drawer cleaning
  • Drawer decontamination
  • Module washing
  • Trailer loading
  • Drawer push-in unit
  • Stacker
  • Module outfeed with buffer platform
Need for speed

When in 1988 the first Drawer system was introduced for live bird handling, a system that handled 250 drawers per hour was sufficient. With increasing line speeds and bird size, Meyn has developed its Drawer system accordingly, for speeds up to 750 classic drawers (50 kg LW/drawer) per hour. Today requests for line speeds up to 15,000 bph with 2.8 kg average live weight are no longer an exception. Since further stretching the capacity of this Drawer system is hardly possible. And since the disadvantages during manual and automatic loading are difficult to overcome, Meyn decided to develop a complete new system: The Grande drawer system.

The Meyn Grande drawer system can supply >600 drawers (76 kg LW each) per hour to the processing line from 4 level modules and with 5 level modules even more. This is more than any other drawer system is offering. Just as important as line capacity is line efficiency. A system that can run a high speed, but not all the time is not ‘a winner.’ Key is the strength of the drawers and the frames. If they are (and remain) in good shape, the system will run without downtime. The design of the drawers and frames of the Meyn Grande drawer system is unique and special materials are used to ensure a reliable lifelong operation.


Transferring pathogens from one location to the other is an actual threat for the poultry industry worldwide. To prevent the transfer of pathogens with live bird modules, intensive cleaning procedures are used before they leave the plant. It is recognized that the demands and the control intensity are rising in most countries. Cost for cleaning; hot water and detergents are increased. However, more drastic methods are needed to have an optimal result. In the autumn of 2017 Meyn has researched the effect of pasteurizing in 20 complete Live bird handling modules in hot water.

A practical and feasible time temperature balance was trialed to pasteurize whole transport modules and the results were very positive. Based on these results, Meyn announced to be in the final stage of developing the ‘Live bird module pasteurization system’. The system will be modular built, for speeds up to 80 modules per hour and will be compatible with the Meyn Grande drawer system as well as other Meyn systems. Food safety will definitely benefit from this new Meyn development.

Read more Read less

Upcoming events

Cookie notification

We use cookies to improve your browsing experience. The cookies that are required for using the website are legally allowed. Other cookie settings can be managed below.

more information