Investigating the influence of extreme exposure temperature during simulated transport on turkey physiology, welfare and meat quality

Principal Investigator

Trevor Crowe, University of Sasktachewan

Year the work was done


Overall objective

  • To investigate the effects of extreme exposure temperature, age (gender) and transportation duration on turkeys during simulation transport.


  • Turkey hens and toms are able to cope with temperatures of 28°C and -18°C.
  • When exposed to warmer conditions (up to 28°C), increased core body temperatures and increased live shrink were observed.
  • Cold exposure (down to -18°C) resulted in greater live shrink and behavioural changes.


  • The temperatures used did not exceed the thresholds for turkeys for this period of exposure. The exposure conditions were not extreme enough to cause consistent and widespread physiological changes in the turkeys’ responses, however changes in core body temperature suggest birds may be beginning to reach the limit of their thermal coping abilities.

This research applies to


This research was supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Canadian Poultry Research Council.