Temperature-Humidity Index (THI) in rabbits’ pens at different building orientations and openings: a measure of animal comfortability in Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Natural ventilation for rabbits’ comfortability when subjected to different building orientations and side openings when stocked and when unstocked were studied. It was 3 x 2 x 3 factorial design. There were 3 factors: season at two levels (dry and rainy seasons); building orientations (Or) [two levels: 45o and 90o to the directions of prevailing wind] and ventilation openings (Op) [four different levels: 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% side openings]. Two phases in the experiment were the monitoring of the outside climate (temperature, relative humidity) and in-building climate conditions at stocked and unstocked. The measurements were taken two times a day at 10.00 hr and 14.00 hr. There was interaction among the Or, Op and THI inside stocked building (THIin) but the interaction between Or and Op did not significantly affect THIin at stocking. This interaction accounts for why 900 Or have low THI values. The Or significantly affected (p ≤ 0.05) temperature, humidity and THIin during rainy seasons. There were higher concentrations of air moving in from surrounding of the building especially in the 90o Or pens and especially with higher percentage of openings like 60% and 80% and therefore rabbits in those pens could be adjudged to be in thermo-comfort zone.