One of the main challenges in live chicken transport is maintaining the ideal climate. With the winter ahead of us, it’s time to prepare for cold weather conditions. In some climates the temperatures can go as low as -35 degrees celsius. To prepare you for these circumstances, we’ve organized a free checklist of five vital elements of live chicken handling and transport during winter.  

1. Planning Chick Transport in Winter
When transporting chicks during winter or cold weather conditions, a well-thought-out planning is essential. The driver of the chick transport truck should be prepared for extreme colds or snow during the ride. It’s important to keep track of the traffic conditions frequently, since roadworks and traffic jams will cause longer delays in bad weather conditions. Create a plan of action that describes what procedures should be taken in the case of extreme weather occurrences.

2. Preparing your Chick Transport System in Winter
The heating system of a Heering chick transport trailer doesn’t require additional maintenance during winter. We do advise you to start early with preheating the trailer. Especially when the transport system has not been used for a while, the chick transport trailer can cool down significantly during cold periods. It will take some time before the various components of the bodywork, the loading space and the panels are evenly heated to the required temperature. Try to keep the air valves closed as much as possible to prevent cold air from coming in.

3. Before Loading Chicks
During loading time, chicks can be exposed to rapid drops in temperature. There are some measurements that can be taken beforehand to ensure the safety of chicks during loading time. Consider the direction of the wind before placing the chick transport truck, to prevent chicks from being exposed directly to cold winds. Plan ahead so that the moment of loading will not take place during the coldest time of day/night. Also be aware that the roof above load-out doors must be made clear of snow/ice to protect workers and poultry from the possibility of falling snow or ice.

4. Loading/Unloading Chicks with Minimal Temperature Loss
Try to keep the doors closed as long as possible so the climate inside the trailer remains unaffected. By using an isolated curtain or barrier between the trailer and the loading/unloading area, chicks can be further protected for the cold outdoor climate. Chicks should be loaded into and out of the chick transport vehicle as quickly as possible. It is also good to reduce the amount of containers that are (un)loaded simultaneously.

5. Check the Behaviour of Chicks
The optimal ambient temperature for chicks is between 32 and 34 degrees celsius while the ideal body temperature of a chick is between 39,5 and 40 degrees celsius. Newly born chicks often have little feathers to keep them warm. In the event of being cold, chicks tend to clench up and form groups to keep eachother warm. Recognizing these symptoms can be helpful to make sure your chicks have the right body temperature.

A well-maintained truck is necessary for good chick deliveries. At Heering, we are ready to support you by phone or mail. Do not hesitate to contact us to learn more.