Ways to Reduce Heat Stress in PoultryPrint
Usually, a large number of chickens are kept in poultry houses to maintain a safe environment for them and provide protection from bad weather. High temperature combined with high humidity levels can result in heat stress, which has an adverse effect on the health of your poultry. Heat stress can occur in poultry of all ages and kinds, and it is a phenomenon when birds are unable to keep equilibrium in the production of body heat and the loss of body heat. This heat stress can not only result in death and suffering of the chickens, but it can also lead to low production. Consequently, it means lower profits for the poultry farms.
Here are some very useful tips to reduce and prevent heat stress in poultry to let your chickens thrive in a safe and healthy environment:
It is very important for poultry farms to have ample trees and greenery in the surrounding area to ease off the summer heat. Moreover, do not overcrowd the chicken housing; your chickens need space so that they aren’t affected by the body heat of other chickens. The roof of the housing should be properly insulated and evaporative cooling systems should be provided to the poultry. There should be a proper inlet control system so that air is distributed uniformly at high speed in the hot weather. High air speed is essential for heat stress relief.
Provision of Water
There is a substantial increase in the water intake of poultry in hot weather as compared to normal weather. Operating drinkers and low water temperature will increase the water intake of the poultry, which relieves heat stress. The drinkers and water lines should be flushed frequently in order to provide the poultry with fresh and cool drinking water.
In hot weather, heat loss can result in the loss of various minerals from the body of the poultry. These minerals include potassium, zinc, sodium, magnesium, and phosphorous. Therefore, you can supplement your poultry with electrolytes in their drinking water. Potassium chloride electrolytes have been found to increase the water intake of the poultry. You can supplement your poultry with electrolytes even before the heat stress period.
In summers, the poultry’s diet is decreased due to the heat. Therefore, managing the diet of the poultry in summers is very important so that you can make adjustments in the intake of the macros that cause more or less metabolic heat. For example, protein causes more metabolic heat, so you can adjust by providing your poultry with less protein intake than carbohydrates and fats in summers.
Another contributing factor in reducing heat stress in poultry is well-trained staff provided with detailed written instructions for all operations of the poultry. The attending staff should be able to identify the signs of heat stress and should be able to take preventive measures. Moreover, do not over-stock or overcrowd the poultry in the housing as well as the transport.