Global Guide to Best Practices in Air Transport of Hatching Eggs, Day-Old Chicks, Poults and Ducklings

There are two ways to transport the DOC in an aircraft: • Palletized • Loose-loaded During transportation every effort should be made to keep DOC at their ideal temperature and protect them from stress resulting from adverse weather conditions such as heat, cold, rain, sleet and snow. The DOC should only ever be exposed to these elements for the shortest possible time during loading and unloading from an aircraft. Loading/unloading during adverse weather conditions. To further reduce exposure to extreme temperatures and conditions, DOC should always be last in and first out of an aircraft. In warm or hot weather, DOC should be loaded last and placed near a cargo door (attention to aircraft and aircraft type, as this might create some variation) so they can be removed quickly and get access to fresh air as soon as the door is opened. This rule is especially critical if the plane has to make a stop before arriving at the final destination. If a stop cannot be avoided or there is a transit, DOC must have good ventilation while on the ground. The same holds true even in cold weather unless outside temperatures are extremely cold. In this case, they should be loaded and placed away from the door so their own heat can keep them warm during a stop. DOC must never be allowed to sit exposed to the elements. During conditions such as rain, sleet and snow they must be protected with a cover such as a plastic sheet during loading and unloading and they should also be shaded from the sun as much as possible. The time that the protecting cover is over the consignment needs to be at minimum. It should be only the necessary time for the chicks to be moved from the warehouse to the plane when no dollies or temperature-controlled vehicles are available. The cover must be taken off before the DOC board the aircraft to ensure proper air flow. Communication is critical to effective DOC protection during transport. Freight forwarders and airline staff should be in constant communication with the export team for specific recommendations regarding DOC health and comfort. Everyone involved with handling the birds should be aware of their temperature, ventilation and other environmental requirements. These requirements should be fulfilled during loading and unloading of the DOC including when they are being transported to and from the aircraft. DOC should be transported in environmentally controlled vehicles when available and be kept in temperature-controlled storage areas. 10