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Efficient Slaughter: A Guide to Abattoir Machinery for Sheep and Goats

January 26, 2024

Slaughter is a process used in killing animals for human consumption as safe and clean animal products. In freezing works, machinery known as abattoir machinery for sheep and goats is used to aid in slaughtering and dressing the animals. 

The use of abattoir machinery reduces:

  • Labour
  • Time
  • Waste…

All while enhancing animal welfare and ensuring compliance with food hygiene standards.

The choice and application of abattoir machinery for sheep and goats are influenced by the type and performance capacity of a freezing works, the species or number of animals to be slaughtered, market demands, and consumer preferences. 

Various kinds of abattoir machinery may:

  • Stun
  • Bleed skin
  • Eviscerate
  • Split
  • Wash
  • Chill or cut…

In this guide, we will cover all the main pieces of abattoir machinery for sheep and goats, explain what they do and explain what part they play in the chain, so let’s get reading!

Characteristics and Design of Freezing Works Machines

Different stages of the slaughter process enable the classification of abattoir machinery into four categories. They are utilised in:

  • Pre-Slaughter
  • Primary Processing
  • Secondary Processing
  • Bi-Product Processing…

The machinery to be used in the abattoir also varies according to a category’s specific function and purpose, as different types of equipment with diverse features are appropriate for various uses.

Abattoir Machinery – What it’s Called and What it Does

Pre-slaughter Machinery

This refers to the gears applied in handling, restraining and stunning off animals before slaughter for humane purposes of killing them quickly as well as enhancing their bleeding. 

Pre-slaughter machinery can include items such as:

• Lairage: The term ‘lairage’ comes in as a place where the animals are accommodated and given rest prior to butchering to reduce stress levels to produce quality meat. The lairage should be like a reception area, which needs to have sufficient floor space, air movement facility ventilation, and lighting along with water supply for the animals as well as allow their compartmentalisation and individual identification. 

• Restrainer: The restraining device holds the animals stationary in a given position and alignment, making it possible to perform stunning killing. The restrainers should be constructed to comply with the animal’s height and form, reducing chances of discomfort and struggling. Restrainers can also be fitted with conveyor belts, rollers, chains or clamps that are used to move and fix the animals.

• Stunners: A Stunner is a mechanical gadget that serves the purpose of putting or rendering the animals into a coma, enabling them not to feel any pain. The design of the stunner should ensure that sufficient or consistent energy is applied to kill animals and also prevent them from recovering. A stunner can be combined with electrodes, cartridges or bolts and with air to apply an electric stunning technique, mechanical versatileness as, well as a pneumatic paralysing approach.

Primary Processing Machinery

Refers to the equipment or products that are used in removing the skins, organs and limbs of animals as well as splitting their carcasses into halves or quarters after they have been bled and slaughtered. 

Primary processing machinery can include items such as:

• Bleeding trough: The device that is used for collecting the blood of the animals through stunning and cutting of their throats or major vessels is referred to as bleeding trough. Thus, a leaking trough should not allow blood to be infected and clot so as to drain it out safely from the recovery process. Bleeding troughs can be provided with hooks, rails or drains for hanging and locomotion of beasts as well as containing blood.

• Skinning machine: After bleeding and dying, the skins of these animals are removed using a spinning machine. The skinning machines must have been designed in a way that they would detach the skis from the carcasses without damaging or tearing them off. Features such as blades, rollers or air allow the skinning machines to cut through, pull off or blow away the animal hide.

• Evisceration table: After making the animal dead and skinning, an evisceration table is used to take out its internal organs or viscera. The design of evisceration tables should allow for easy access and removal of the organs in a manner that does not involve rupturing or spilling. For instance, organs can option to be cut apart from the body or sucked out of it using knives and scissors as well as a vacuum for such purposes in case evisceration tables are used.

• Splitting saw: Splitting saw is the equipment that splits apart those animals’ carcasses, each into half or even quarters, for further evisceration. The splitting saw ought to be fashioned such that it is capable of slicing the bones and flesh in a corpse, devoid of crushing or defiling them. It is possible to mount splitting saw blades, chains or guides for slicing off meat, sawing the carcass and guiding it.

Secondary Processing Machinery

This is used to cleanse, rapidly cool and section the carcasses or parts of animals along with packages in which meat products are packed and labelled after primary processing and inspection. 

Secondary processing machinery can include items such as:

• Washing machine: For the cleanse of carcasses or parts from animals after their primary treatment and respective control for removal of dirt, this machine applies a washing process. The washing machine is supposed to have the ability to be equipped with a nozzle for spraying or even immersing carcasses in water or any other solution. They are not dipped into that liquid and are diluted. Features, such as nozzles, jets or tanks that deliver and regulate the water itself or any other liquids, can be installed in washing machines.

• Chilling room: Carcasses or parts of the animals are then chilled in a chilling room in order to lower their temperature and inhibit spoilage. The Chilling room must have enough space, proper ventilation and refrigeration to hold the carcasses or parts of them without freezing on drying. The chilling room may be designed with hooks, rails, or shelves so that the carcasses or parts can be hung on and stored.

• Cutting machine: After their chilling and inspection, the carcasses or parts of these animals are cut into suitable pieces using a cutting machine depending on the desired size and shape required. The cutting machines must be made in such a design that they will slice, dice, or mince the carcasses or certain parts without generating any waste or damage. The cutting operations, in the case of a cutting machine, can be conducted with blades fitted as components or by attaching knives or grinders to these machines.

• Packaging machine: The role of the packaging machine is that package meat products that have been cut and inspected to guard them against possible physical, chemical or biological violations as well as prolong their shelf-life. Therefore, meat products, in this case, should be contained inside the packaging machine without being changed or coming into contact with anything else. The packaging machines can also come with films, bags or trays that are used to hold the meat products in place as well as cover them.

• Labeling machine: Now, the meat packages are labelled using a labelling machine after being packaged and inspected to indicate their identity, source of handling, quality, and safety. The Labeling machine must be created in such a way that it will not hide the labels or spoil them while printing, implementing, and scanning. Some of the additional components that could be added to labelling machines include printers, stickers or scanners for printing and producing labels.

By-product Processing Machinery

This refers to equipment used in the treatment of by-products arising from or after slaughtering and other animal-based procedures into useful products such as fertiliser, leather gelatin, etc. 

By-product processing machinery can include items such as:

• Blood collection tank: A blood tank is simply a device where blood from the animals’ bodies has been bled and are killed to avoid their clotting so as not to go bad. The blood-collecting tanks need to be designed in a manner that it can allow enough space, air introduction, and cooling condition of the entire unit without interfering with the status-quo form, which would result from the invention. Attitudes of blood may be fit with pumps, tubules or valves for the transmission and control over it.

• Skin salting machine: In this case, a skin salting machine is used to salt and cure the hide or skin of the animals after they die by peeling them off their bodies, preventing any form of decay due to rot in addition to insect infestation. Machines used for skin salting should also be manufactured in such a way as to ensure even and adequate spreading of the salt on the pelt without any tearing. Rollers, brushes or sprinklers can be provided on the skin salting machines to spread and rub the salt onto the appended article.

• Organ rendering machine: The organ rendering machine is the equipment used to process and separate animals’ organs, or viscera, after their killing in conjunction with evisceration into solid percentage parts like meat meal as well as bone decimal point along by tallow section lard. There should be organ-rendering machines capable of cooking, drying and pressing the organs when applied to them without burning or rotting. Types of rendering plants include pulp dryers, cookers and presses that are equipped with machines for the purpose.

As you can see from the multitude of moving parts in abattoirs and freezing works, they need to be constantly working in harmony to enable the workflow to continue uninterrupted. 


Abattoir machinery for sheep and goats has many moving parts. These involve complex buildings that have a network of complex machines that need to be made by professionals for professionals.  Each machine is a cog in a much bigger wheel. This is where abattoir expertise comes in, and you need to find the right companies with experience in kitting out your premises with the right materials for sheep and goats.