Cobb-Brazil is investing more than one-million dollars in a new fleet of state-of-the-art chick transporters to make sure chicks arrive to customers in top condition. Brazil’s large landscape with spread-out farms previously presented a challenge for conventional trailers without specialized climate control.
The first of the new vehicles has already proved its worth in delivering chicks with zero mortality and another six trailers will join the fleet by the end of March. The transporters were designed as part of a joint project with global trailer manufacturer Smithway and Brazil’s Facchini, located in São Jose do Rio Preto where Cobb Brazil is headquartered.
The new trailer is equipped with a 100,000 BTU air conditioning system with generators to provide electricity for cooling and heating. The vehicle is designed without corridors so it can hold up to 60,000 chicks – twice the capacity of conventional trailers.
"During their first days chicks need to be kept in constant warmth to ensure good early development,” said Lucas Lima, Cobb logistics manager in Brazil. “Conventional trailers depend greatly on the external climate as they are only equipped with humidification, exhaust and ventilation systems. We needed a trailer equipped with independent climate control to ensure the wellbeing and ideal environment for our chicks.”
Two fuel-powered generators enable cooling even if the truck's engine is off – an essential feature that allows for periods when the driver is taking a break or, for instance, when the truck is waiting at the airport before loading. The generators operate separately, with the second one only used if the main generator fails.
Internal air quality control is also improved with the new technology. With little air exchange, the chance of harmful organisms circulating inside the trailer is reduced.
"We have been using the new transporter since November and are very pleased with the results,” added Lima. "We have been working with near-zero mortality during chick transport as a result of the excellent temperature control and comfort within the trailers. Our goal is that the chicks are delivered to the customer in the same condition they left the hatchery.”