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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


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Title: Chapter 5: Thermal Indices and Their Applications for Livestock Environments

item Hahn, G. Leroy
item Gaughan, John
item Mader, Terry
item Eigenberg, Roger

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/7/2009
Publication Date: 12/1/2009
Citation: Hahn, G., Gaughan, J.B., Mader, T.L., Eigenberg, R.A. 2009. Chapter 5: Thermal Indices and Their Applications for Livestock Environments. In: DeShazer, J.A., ed. Livestock Energetics and Thermal Environmental Management. St. Joseph, MI:American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. p. 113-130.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Heat exchanges with the environment are a crucial process for maintaining homeothermy by humans and other animals. These exchanges involve heat production, conservation and dissipation, and are dependent on both biological and physical factors. The complexity of these exchanges has led to many attempts to represent the environmental aspects by surrogate thermal indices as a basis for assessing the biological effect and consequent impact of the thermal environment. Resultant index values represent effects produced by the heat exchange process. For humans, comfort assessment is primary; for animals, assessing performance, health and well-being have been foremost. Emphasis in this chapter is on thermal indices useful in animal studies and applications, with a view toward strategic and tactical decisions for rational environmental management. Illustrative examples are included, as are considerations for future efforts.

Last Modified: 06/28/2017
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