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Chapter 5: Thermal Indices and Their Applications for Livestock Environments

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Published in Livestock Energetics and Thermal Environmental Management Chapter 5, pp. 113-130 ( Copyright 2009 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers )  .(doi:10.13031/2013.28298)
Authors:   G. LeRoy Hahn, John B. Gaughan, Terry L. Mader, Roger A. Eigenberg
Keywords:   Introduction, The Development of Thermal Indices for Animals, Indices Related to Animal Responses, Indices Based on Wet- and Dry-Bulb Temperatures, The Temperature-Humidity Index, Modifications to the THI, Other Approaches to the Development of Thermal In

[First paragraphs]: Heat exchanges with the environment are crucial processes for maintaining homeothermy by humans and other animals. These exchanges involve heat production, conservation, and dissipation, and are dependent on both biological and physical factors. The complexity of these exchanges has led to many attempts to represent the environmental aspects by surrogate thermal indices as a basis for assessing the biological effect and consequent impact of the thermal environment. Resultant index values represent effects produced by the heat exchange process. For humans, comfort assessment is primary; for animals, assessing performance, health, and well-being have been foremost. Emphasis in this chapter is on thermal indices used in animal studies and their applications, with a view toward strategic and tactical decisions for rational environmental management. Illustrative examples are included, as are considerations for future efforts.

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