Main content area

Abdominal skin temperature variation in healthy broiler chickens as determined by thermography

Tessier, M., Tremblay, D. du, Klopfenstein, C., Beauchamp, G., Boulianne, M.
Poultry science 2003 v.82 no.5 pp. 846-849
broiler chickens, chicks, age, skin temperature, animal handling, escape behavior, image analysis, heat emissions, computer analysis, diurnal variation, cellulitis, diagnostic techniques, animal physiology
Abdominal skin temperature of healthy broiler chickens was determined by thermography to estimate the normal range of between- and within-bird temperature variation. Effects of potential confounding factors, such as bird's contention duration, abdominal side, age, and time of day, were also estimated. Mean skin temperature was estimated from thermogram pictures by computer image analysis of a predetermined abdominal area. Results demonstrated that skin temperature was not significantly affected by contention duration. However, skin temperature was higher on the right abdominal side in younger birds and at 1200 h. Between- and within-bird variation in healthy birds was small (<0.5 degrees C) when age, abdominal side, and time of day were taken into account. This work suggests that skin temperature measurement using thermography can be adapted for the study of skin temperature in broiler chickens.