Poultry Handling and Transport

Claire A Weeks, Frank Tuytens, Temple Grandin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations (FAO) has estimated that 87% of
transported poultry is broiler chickens. Broiler
death losses during transport average 0.2% but can
vary greatly. In layers, poor feather cover is associated
with more mortalities, and in broilers, poor
health increases transport losses. It is difficult to
remove hens from furnished/enriched cages and
this can result in more injuries. Design innovations
are needed. Mechanical catching of broilers reduces
stress during container loading. It may be slower
than manual catching and may result in more heat stress
mortalities during hot weather unless two
machines are used. In hot temperatures, stocking
rates should be reduced and trucks need to be kept
moving to prevent heat stress, unless the vehicle has
active climate control. In cold winter temperatures,
chickens can be exposed to both heat stress or cold
stress in different parts of a vehicle with closed
curtains unless mechanical ventilation is used.
Death losses tend to increase with both longer transit
times and more time waiting at the abattoir
unless mitigation strategies are employed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnimal handling and Transport
EditorsTemple Grandin
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherCABI Publishing
Number of pages22
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019


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