2022 journal article
Impacts of Air Velocity Treatments under Summer Condition: Part I—Heavy Broiler’s Surface Temperature Response
Animals, 12(3), 328.
Heavy broilers exposed to hot summer conditions experience fluctuations in surface temperatures due to heat stress, which leads to decreased performance. Maintaining a bird's homeostasis depends on several environmental factors (temperature, relative humidity, and air velocity). It is important to understand the responses of birds to environmental factors and the amount of heat loss to the surrounding environment to create thermal comfort for the heavy broilers for improved performances and welfare. This study investigates the variation in surface temperatures of heavy broilers under high and low air velocity treatments. Daytime, age and bird location's effect on the surface temperature variation was also examined. The experiment was carried out in the poultry engineering laboratory of North Carolina State University during summers of 2017, 2018, and 2019 as a part of a comprehensive study on the effectiveness of wind chill application to mitigate heat stress on heavy broilers. This live broiler heat stress experiment was conducted under two dynamic air velocity treatments (high and low) with three chambers per treatment and 44 birds per chamber. Surface temperatures of the birds were recorded periodically through the experimental treatment cycles (flocks, 35-61 d) with infrared thermography in the morning, noon, evening, and nighttime. The overall mean surface temperature of the broilers under two treatments was found to be 35.89 ± 2.37 °C. The variation in surface temperature happened due to air temperature, thermal index, air velocity, bird's age, daytime, and position of birds inside the experimental chambers. The surface temperatures were found lower under high air velocity treatment and higher under low air velocity treatment. During the afternoon time, the broilers' surface temperatures were higher than other times of the day. It was also found that the birds' surface temperature increased with age and temperature humidity indices. Based upon the experimental data of five flocks, a simple linear regression model was developed to predict surface temperature from the birds' age, thermal indices, and air velocity. It will help assess heavy broilers' thermal comfort under heat stress, which is essential to provide a comfortable environment for them.