Livestock Heat Stress During Transport & Lairage
When transporting livestock such as sheep and cattle, several considerations take place to ensure smooth transport and safe arrival.
There are numerous exposures that can cause stress on livestock during transportation, such as:
- Loud sounds and vibrations
- Shortage of food or water
- Motion during transport
- Quickly changing weather conditions
- Change of temperature, such as cold to hot
- Heat stress
How Does Heat Stress Affect Livestock?
Heat stress has an adverse effect on livestock, whether the livestock is being used for milk, meat, or for work animals.
For example, heat stress can cause cows to produce less milk. Not only is the amount of milk affected, but so is the quality. This quality can ultimately be transferred to cheeses and reduce its quality as well.
From an economic standpoint, heat stress can also create significant losses in the beef and dairy industry. This industry has lost billions as a result of heat stress in livestock. Every year, millions of livestock animals die in transport each year---most notably broiler chickens.
Aside from negative impacts for human consumption, heat stress can make livestock suffer. It can cause slobbering, lack of coordination, increased urination, and panting.
What to Consider with Livestock Heat Stress and Transportation
Both short and long trips, such as passing through climate zones, also are important to acknowledge for livestock welfare.
During transport trips with significant temperature changes, ventilation is important inside the carrier. This can ensure that airflow can circulate as needed and keep livestock comfortable.
You will also need to consider the size of the lorry. Beef cattle and pigs are transported in lorries of varying levels. Each level of the lorry can have a slightly different microclimate than the other, which needs to be monitored to ensure safety during transport.
Not only do microclimates within the vehicles make a difference in heat stress, so does the type of vehicle. Not all transport vehicles are engineered in the same way, and most of these vehicles are not completely sealed. This means that adjustment to ventilation is necessary.
Using Kestrel DROP D2AG to Monitor Heat Stress During Transport
Generally, farm animals are prone to heat stress. You'll need to monitor the environment to help keep the environment safe and close to ideal conditions as possible.
For example, the Kestrel DROP D2AG is an ideal and highly accurate device for measuring environmental conditions during transport. Rugged and wireless, the devices are portable and can hang inside the vehicle.
Viewing the temperatures on a device such as your phone, you can ensure that the conditions of the vehicle are not too hot for livestock.
The Kestrel DROP D2AG, depending on the model, can track elements including:
- Ambient temperature
- Heat stress index
- Dew point temperature
- Station pressure
- And more
Having a Kestrel DROP D2AG on multiple tier levels of transport vehicles will allow you to monitor each area individually. This will give you the most accurate insight within the microclimates of the vehicles.
If you are transporting livestock through any type of weather conditions, the Kestrel DROP D2AG is the top device to have on hand. Explore our line of Kestrel agriculture meters to keep your livestock transport safe from start to finish.