Recycling dead hens by enzyme or sodium hydroxide pretreatment and fermentation

W. K. Kim, P. H. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to evaluate the recycling of whole dead hens into feed ingredients by enzyme or sodium hydroxide pretreatment and fermentation. Evaluation criteria included nutrient preservation, pathogenic microorganism elimination, and assays of nutritional quality. The pH levels of enzyme-and NaOH-treated hen carcasses decreased from 6.01 and 7.66 to 4.18 and 4.24, respectively, during the 21-d fermentation. Hydrogen sulfide levels were not detected on Days 1 and 3 from the enzyme treatment; however, high levels (800 ppm) were measured from the NaOH treatments. By Day 21, H2S levels of both treatments had decreased to 78 ppm. The control, enzyme, and NaOH treatments before fermentation contained high levels of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus; however, after fermentation, these potential pathogens were eliminated in the enzyme and NaOH treatments. Levels of CP, EE, and ash of the control product were higher than either the enzyme or NaOH treatment. NaOH reduced pepsin digestibility by 11% compared to the enzyme treatment. In a bioassay, the chicks fed control autoclaved hen meal (CHM) had higher (P < 0.05) feed intake, weight gain, protein efficiency ratio (PER), and net protein ratio (NPR) than enzyme-treated, fermented, and autoclaved hen meal (EHM) or NaOH-treated, fermented, and autoclaved hen meal (NHM). However, the AMEn of the CHM and EHM were higher than the NHM (P < 0.05) when evaluated using mature cockerels. These results indicated that fermentation processing of dead hens reduced the concentration of some nutrients and depressed growth performance when hen meals were fed to young chicks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-885
Number of pages7
JournalPoultry science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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