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A Micro-Environment Measurement System During Swine Transport

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

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  074086.(doi:10.13031/2013.23108)
Authors:   Andrew C Lenkaitis, Xinlei Wang, Ted L Funk, Michael Ellis
Keywords:   Swine, Transport, Ventilation, Measurement

This study aims to better understand the micro-environment conditions of pigs during transport. A straight double deck trailer with eleven compartments was outfitted with instrumentation to measure temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and air velocity within each compartment, in addition to outside temperature, humidity, incident solar radiation, truck speed, trailer side, front and roof temperature and skin surface temperature in two compartments. An instrumentation system including an air velocity sensor has been developed for this study. Sensors in protective cages were positioned in the compartments with the animals. Fifteen loads were carried out over three seasons (hot, mild, cold), transporting 167 market weight hogs from farm to processing plant. The average pen temperature in the trailer increased 3.65 ± 0.77 0C across all three seasons from beginning to the end of each journey. Results indicate a 0.95 correlation between air velocity and truck speed (p<0.0001). Individual compartments vary in air velocity, but differ little in temperature and relative humidity values. A study was conducted to compare the microenvironment inside the trailer with an external bank of cooling fans and without fans when the trailer is parked, waiting to unload at the plant. The average air velocity was significantly different when the trailer was in front of the fans (0.68 m/s) as compared to that without fans on the gravel lot (0.59 m/s). Also the solar radiation was reduced when waiting under a translucent canopy (1267W/m2) compared to the unshaded gravel-surfaced parking lot (1369 W/m2).

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