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Measuring Ventilation in a Horse Trailer During Transport

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

Citation:  Paper number  034091,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15647) @2003
Authors:   J. L. Purswell, J. D. Davis, A. R. Green, R. S. Gates, L. M. Lawrence and R. J. Coleman
Keywords:   Horses, Transport, Ventilation measurement

Few studies have investigated the environmental conditions under which horses travel, and consequently little is known about the thermal environment within horse trailers. Animal well-being may be compromised by exposure to extreme temperatures, or air contaminants leading to complications such as dehydration, heat stress, or respiratory infection as a consequence of insufficient ventilation. This study was undertaken to estimate ventilation rates within an empty horse trailer during transport. Estimation of ventilation rates were made by measuring the decay time of a known quantity of carbon dioxide (CO2) at different locations within the trailer. Ventilation rates through a horse trailer were evaluated as functions of vehicle speed and opening sizes.

Four different travel speeds (48, 72, 88, and 104 kmh-1) and three different vent configurations were tested (all closed, roof vents open, and all vents/windows open). Dry bulb temperature, relative humidity, and CO2 concentration were measured at two locations in the trailer; ambient air temperature, relative humidity, and vehicle speed were also measured. Average air exchange rates at Stall 1 and Stall 3 locations in the trailer were 0.99 and 1.1 air exchanges per minute, respectively. Ventilation rates increased with vehicle speed and amount of open vent area, but vehicle speed was found to be the only significant factor which affected ventilation in the trailer.

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