Example – chicken by‑products for treatment

Generic product activity or name
Non-edible chicken by-products

Broiler by-products, poultry waste

Context and background
Chicken heads, feathers, blood and intestines as well as discarded broilers are an example of by-products or waste from the abattoir that has some monetary value since is can be used as animal feedstock. In Denmark this waste is processed by specialized factories to produce mink feed.

Presentation of example
Animal by-products not intended for human consumption are a potential source of risks to public and animal health. Therefore the treatment of these by-products is strongly regulated – at least in the European Union (EU 2009).

The chicken by-products can be used to produce animal feed if the chicken was healthy and alive prior to entering the abattoir. But for feed safety reasons the chicken by-products cannot be used for animal feed directly. The chicken by-products that are safe according to the above regulation are processed in a factory specialised in processing the waste to mink feed.

The chicken by-products that are deemed unsafe according to the EU-regulation are to be incinerated at specific destruction sites. For these by-products the waste treatment activity is the incineration process where the energy is recaptured forming part of the district heat – at least this is the case in Denmark (see Nielsen et al. 2011). This can be seen as a special kind of recycling (see section 5.2).

Since the chicken by-products need to be treated before they can be sold as animal feed (or district heat) – and no other activity produces the chicken by-products as their determining product – they are in the LCA terminology “materials for treatment”.

Information sources used
The chicken abattoir is generally a well-described treatment process. Here we used data from Denmark.

Nielsen N I, Jørgensen M and Bahrndorff S (2011). Greenhouse Gas Emission from the Danish Broiler Production estimated via LCA Methodology. Report from Knowledge Centre for Agriculture, Poultry: http://lca-net.com/wp-content/uploads/110628_vfc_engelsk_vfl_layout_web.pdf

EU 2009: Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32009R1069&from=en (accessed 19. December 2014)

Author of this example
Bo Weidema


How to reference this
Weidema B P (2014), Example –chicken by-products for treatment. Version: 2014-12-19 www.consequential-lca.org