Jing Qi, Yaru Zhang, Zixiong Zhou and Umma Habiba
Transport is unavoidable before slaughter in the poultry industry. The birds may be exposed to various stressors during transport, including birds health condition, fasting, handling, (un)loading, crating density, transport time, vehicle design, trailer microclimate and lairage time. To cope with transport stress, poultry develops physiological responses, which may subsequently affect meat quality and mortality. The paper aims to investigate the effects of transport duration, trailer microclimate and loading density on physiological responses and meat quality of birds. Transport is likely to cause high stress level and energy consumption in poultry according to physiological parameters. The impacts of transport stressors on meat quality are inconsistent or even contradictory. To get consistent results of meat quality following transport, unified measurement methods and the transport conditions are demanded. Furthermore, future research needs to pay more attention to the effects of transport under cold temperature and loading density on poultry to improve their welfare and reduce economic loss.