Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Advisor

Liang, Yi

Reader

Liang, Yi

Second Reader

Costello, Thomas

Third Reader

Atungulu, Griffiths

Abstract

Broiler production in Arkansas was valued at over $3.6 billion in 2013 (University of Arkansas Extension of Agriculture). Consequently, improvement in any phase of the production process can have significant economic impact and animal welfare implications. From the time poultry leave the farm and until they are slaughtered, they can be exposed to harsh environmental conditions, both in winter and in summer. After road transportation, birds are left to wait in holding sheds once they arrive at the processing plant, for periods of approximately 30 minutes to two hours. This project was interested in this holding shed waiting time during hot summer conditions. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed using the commercial package ANSYS Fluent and used to analyze the effect of six different scenarios of varying inlet velocity and inlet temperature on the airflow, temperature, and humidity within the trailer parked in the holding shed. A temperature-humidity-velocity index (THVI) was used to assess the possible effects of local conditions on chicken welfare. Results showed that increasing airflow into the trailer module had a significant effect on reducing temperature and humidity within the module, potentially improving welfare of the poultry. While the model was too simplified to accurately compare to field measurements, this study showed the potential of CFD software to solve problems in this area. A more robust CFD model could be used to test the effects of alternative solutions such as the placement and number of cooling fans within the holding shed, making it a powerful decision making tool.