Comparison of eight logger layouts for monitoring animal-level temperature and humidity during commercial feeder cattle transport.

Goldhawk, C.A., Crowe, T.G., González, L.A., Janzen, E., Kastelic, J.P., Pajor, E., and Schwartzkopf-Genswein, K.S.G. (2014). "Comparison of eight logger layouts for monitoring animal-level temperature and humidity during commercial feeder cattle transport.", Journal of Animal Science, 92(9), pp. 4161-4171. doi : 10.2527/jas.2013-7432  Access to full text

Abstract

Measuring animal-level conditions during transit provides information regarding the true risk of environmental challenges to cattle welfare during transportation. However, due to constraints on placing loggers at the animal level, there is a need to identify appropriate proxy locations. The objective was to evaluate 8 distributions of ceiling-level loggers in the deck and belly compartments of pot-belly trailers for assessing animal-level temperature and humidity during 5 to 18 h commercial transportation of feeder cattle. Ambient conditions during transportation ranged from 3.6 to 45.2°C (20.3 ± 7.61°C, mean ± SD). When considering the entire journey, average differences between ceiling and animal-level temperatures were similar among logger layouts (P > 0.05). The uncertainty in the difference in temperature and humidity between locations was high relative to the magnitude of the difference between animal- and ceiling-level conditions. Single-logger layouts required larger adjustments to predict animal-level conditions within either compartment, during either the entire journey or when the trailer was stationary (P < 0.05). Within certain logger layouts, there were small but significant differences in the ability of regression equations to predict animal-level conditions that were associated with cattle weight and available space relative to body size. Furthermore, evaluation of logger layouts based solely on the entire journey without consideration of stationary periods did not adequately capture variability in layout performance. In conclusion, to adequately monitor animal-level temperature and humidity, 10 loggers distributed throughout the compartment was recommended over single-logger layouts within both the deck and belly compartments of pot-belly trailers transporting feeder cattle in warm weather.

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