Temperature conditions inside commercial trailers transporting market-age broilers during four winter journeys were measured, and changes in the rectal and core body temperature of birds were quantified. Pre-selected modules were equipped with data loggers recording temperature every 72 s. Rectal temperatures were taken from eight birds in each of four modules immediately before and after each trip, and two or three birds, with temperature recording implants, were placed in each of two selected modules. Temperature heterogeneity was found among modules on all loads with average crate temperatures ranging from 10.9 to 30.7, 8.9 to 28.1, 2.5 to 26.1 and 0.7 to 16.58C for transportation times of 191, 193, 178 and 18 min and ambient temperatures of 7.1, 27.1, 28.2 and 18.48C, respectively. Wet birds, condensation and frost provided evidence for moisture accumulation during transportation. Body temperature recordings indicated the potential for the development of both hypothermia and hyperthermia, showing that cold stress can occur near air inlets and heat stress in poorly ventilated areas. Passive ventilation inside trailers resulted in crate temperatures 17.7 to 55.28C above outside temperature. Mortality ranged from 0.7 to 1.4% but several deaths occurred during lairage, prior to processing. A heterogeneous distribution of airflow resulted in undesirable temperate and humidity conditions for some birds.
- Broiler chicken
- Cold climate