Animal Science, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Animals 2018, 8, 203; doi:10.3390/ani8110203




Extreme weather conditions challenge pig thermoregulation during transport and are addressed by the National Pork Board (NPB) Transport Quality Assurance® (TQA) program that provides guidelines for trailer boarding, bedding, and misting. These guidelines are widely applied, yet very little is known about the microenvironment within the trailer. In this study, TQA guidelines (V4) were evaluated via extensive thermal environment measurements during transport in order to evaluate spatial variability and implications on ventilation pattern. Effects of trailer management strategies including bedding, boarding, and misting were examined and the trailer was monitored for interior temperature rise and THI responses within six separate zones. The trailer thermal environment was not uniformly distributed in the colder trips with the top front and bottom zones were the warmest, indicating these zones had the majority of outlet openings and experienced air with accumulated sensible and latent heat of the pigs. Relatively enhanced thermal environment uniformity was observed during hot trips, suggesting that ventilation patterns and ventilation rate were different for colder vs. warmer weather conditions. Misting applied prior to transport cooled interior air temperature, but also created high THI conditions in some cases. Neither boarding and bedding combinations in the TQA nor boarding position showed impacts on trailer interior temperature rise or spatial distribution of temperature inside the trailer.