If you’re a poultry producer, you know the importance of safely transporting day-old chicks. Have you considered the financial impact of using suboptimal trucks for transporting chickens during hot summer conditions? Poor transport can seriously impact production performance and lead to substantial financial losses.
During summer inadequate chick carriers cause increased chick mortality, decreased chick growth and farm performance. Especially if the airflow design of the chick carrier does not enable a sufficient supply of air to the chicks.
Recent studies have shown that the effects of too-high temperatures and, thus, overheating day-old chicks during transport can quickly cause early developmental gut damage. Study results have shown that this could potentially cause a loss of up to 60 grams in live weight at the 35-day production stage. For every 10 million day-old chicks produced and a 20-week summer period, the value transported during summer quickly surpasses 1.5 million USD. With the risk of overheating, just the aforementioned weight loss could already create a potential loss of 300,000 USD in one summer season.
This example is only one production parameter of many that could be affected by transport. Other factors, as mentioned above, can be increased costs associated with additional resources such as feed and medicine needed to care for the affected chicks. Additionally, underperforming equipment can result in the need to lower the load density of chicks during high outdoor temperatures, requiring more trips to deliver the same amount of birds, which also significantly adds to transportation costs.
Thus, the financial impact of using low-quality carriers can greatly harm the bottom line of your hatchery. Therefore, in summer conditions, chick carriers with effective and strong airflow are critical to avoid financial losses.
A good chick carrier is designed to provide adequate and sufficient ventilation and air exchange, ensuring the chicks have access to fresh air and minimizing risks associated with high temperatures. A dedicated and well-designed layout and load plan are also essential to create the best airflow to reach all chicks loaded in the unit.
Chick carriers with reasonable airflow that work in moderate climates might not meet the required capacity during increasingly hot and more extreme summer periods. Potentially worsened by unclean and clogged air filters and HVAC evaporators, this causes uneven temperatures throughout the carrier, with some areas being too hot and others too cold. Attempting to fix this issue with a cooling system can make the problem worse, as it will create even larger temperature differences throughout the carrier.
Temperature sensors and control systems should ensure that the chicks’ environment remains comfortable and healthy during transit. All of this to improve the chicks’ well-being during transport, keep temperatures within range, and disperse metabolic gases and heat.
Real-time telemetry enables the monitoring of vehicle performance in real-time. In transporting day-old chicks, telemetry is essential for producers to ensure good results upon arrival and to assess performance during or after delivery.
To summarize, transporting day-old chicks is a crucial part of poultry production, and investing in high-quality chick carriers can make a significant impact on your bottom line. Sub-optimal transport can lead to higher chick mortality and decreased chick performance, all of which harm production parameters and profitability. Especially for hot summer conditions an investment in premium quality with an effective airflow is a wise decision. By improving critical production parameters, hatchery managers keep their operations competitive and profitable in the long term.
If you have any questions about day-old chick transport or the information and calculations presented in this article, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Heering team. We are more than happy to provide further assistance and answer any queries you may have.