Accidental hypothermia during transportation are not well studied in birds especially its physiological responses and mechanism in contrast to human. The present study investigated the behavioural and biochemical responses of 1200 Black Harco pullets exposed to accidental hypothermia during wet-cold weather transportation conditions. Behaviour, colonic temperature (CT) and biochemical values were recorded before and immediately after transportation. The on-board ambient temperature (AT, 32-37°C) was recorded inside the vehicle at the front and centre planes which was higher than the AT recorded at the sides and rear planes of the vehicle (18-20°C). The CT on arrival was 30-36°C, while behaviour of motionless, sitting like penguin with eyes closed, soaked feathers, rigid and cold body to touch were deducted in birds located in drawers close to the air inlets which indicate hypothermia. The hypothermic birds showed a significant decrease from baseline in the concentrations of Na, Cl, K, Ca, P and activities of AST, ALT, ALP and CRT. In conclusion, transporting pullets under rainfall weather condition induced accidental hypothermia, in birds located in drawers close to the air inlets, which was manifested by behavioural changes and a decrease in concentration of electrolytes and activities of enzymes.
Accidental hypothermia, Behaviour, Biochemical, Colonic temperature, Transported pullets