The optimum deep body (cloacal) temperature of a day-old chick is 40oC (104oF). At this temperature, the bird feels most comfortable, will be active and explore its environment, and will find the provided food and water. Our efforts should focus on maintaining the bird's body temperature at that level, which is the result of the balance between its own heat production and its heat loss.

If the conditions during transportation are correct, the birds arrive on the farm at a body temperature of 40oC. The temperature in the house will be kept for several days at a high level, to ensure that the floor temperature is approximately 30oC. This will mean that when the birds arrive, the house temperature will be around 35oC. If we put the boxes in the house in stacks of 3-5 boxes high, the body temperature of the birds in the boxes will rise quickly above the optimum. To avoid this, we should lower the house temperature just prior to arrival of the chicks to approximately 27-28oC. Once the chicks are unloaded, we must increase the temperature of the house rapidly to a level of 38-39oC, to compensate for this period of low temperature and to get the birds back on the desired body temperature.

We should maintain this high temperature until we see the first signs of overheating on the birds and until we see the birds calming down completely and lying down totally relaxed in the house. At this moment (usually after 2-3 hours at this high temperature), we should bring down the temperature to the starting house temperature of 35oC and start our normal temperature profile from thereon.