Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Poultry Science (MS)

Degree Level



Poultry Science


Karen D. Christensen

Committee Member

Yi Liang

Second Committee Member

Susan Watkins

Third Committee Member

Colin G. Scanes

Fourth Committee Member

Yvonne Vizzier-Thaxton


Transport of commercial broiler chickens from the farm to the processing plant is perceived to compromise welfare under some circumstances. Research has been conducted using European standard equipment to characterize the environment experienced by poultry during broiler transport. In contrast no studies have been reported on the environment experienced by broilers under United States standard industry practices during transport. Moreover, microenvironment temperatures within industry trailers have not been reported.

The present study characterized the thermal micro-environment experienced by broiler chickens during transport across different seasons. The temperatures were influenced by temperature mitigation practices (plastic wrap, double side board, single side board, open side, and heat mitigation) and by ambient temperatures. Temperatures measured within transporters were found to have less variation compared to studies using other transport systems. Temperatures were found to decrease (p=0.05) for the second half of transport duration during low ambient conditions (-16.4 to 2.80 0C). For moderate ambient conditions (6.22 to 23.35 0C) significant (p=0.05) yet small (<2oC) changes in temperature were seen. For transport within high ambient temperature ranges (29.05 to 40.14 0C) an increase (p<0.05) in temperature was seen from the first to second half of transport duration.

While temperature mitigation practices do provide improved thermal environments compared to that of ambient conditions, improvements are still needed. Further research is needed to develop new mitigation practices at high (29.05 to 40.14 0C) and low (-16.4 to 2.80 0C) ambient temperatures. Research is also needed to expand current indexes that consider the effects of temperature, humidity, air velocity, and duration to ensure welfare is not compromised by the transport environments experienced by poultry.