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Summer and heat stress

Summer has arrived in many parts of the world and heat stress is again the center of attention. Decreased feed intake, lower than expected body weight gain, poor feed efficiency, reduction in egg production/eggshell quality/hatchability, and increased daily mortality are adverse effects of heat stress often seen in broiler and layer poultry flocks.

The magnitude of problems resulting from heat stress may vary from region to region, and also from one farm to another (in the same region). These effects may not be the same in different barns of a farm. There is no doubt that temperature itself is a determining factor, but farm structure (e.g. barn design, ventilation system, stocking density, litter condition) and the way that farm staff handle heat stress are also important factors that will also influence the outcome of this problem. Birds, depending on type and stage of production, react differently to heat stress conditions.

Strategies such as changing the lighting programme, temporary feed restriction, or feeding at specific times of the day, increasing density of nutrients in diet as feed intake decreases during heat stress, providing birds with extra electrolytes and vitamins (especially through drinking water) may be of some help (1). It is always recommended to provide birds with cool water during high temperatures, but I am not sure how this can happen when the temperature is something around 45-50 ºC.

How do you deal with heat stress in your farm?


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    Wseem AL-shible

    We are now undergoing from this proplem in syria because of heat.
    In some hen houses, temperatures reach 40 degrees C during the day. This induces the great loses in the stocks - death, low body weight, and other disaster.
    So we depend on the ristriction in the feed (give feed at night) and use some therapy like V.c and asperen (calnik nine edition) in the water, which may decrease loses.

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    arash janmohammadi

    I am from north of Iran. It is warm here and tempreture in the day is 32-33C. We feed broilers when tempreture decresed and in warm times of day we waik in hen houses for stimulate hens to waik and drink water.
    Arash Janmohammadi d.v.m

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    James Tidwell

    I was very interested in your comments on the heat related stress and in changing your lighting programming. I am a grower for Pilgrims Pride in Texas and as of right now Im having serious issues with the heat. If anyone is familiar with this type tunnel house and we like to discuss different issues please feel free to e-mail me at bullet1717@yahoo.com.

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    Gerard Western

    From North east Scotland.
    We change the movement of air from circulating across the ceiling area to a direct blast across the 27m wide houses at just above bird head height.
    This is done by using 3 levels of inlets and closing the top two rows and leaving the bottom row open. The number of inlets in the top two rows equals the number in the bottom row.
    This has proven that over 28C the temperature reading in the houses stay the same as the outside temperature and not the normal +3C. This has been working up to 31C which is as hot as it gets here ~ at present. We get not extra mortality through heat stress.

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    ilker HOSGOR

    I am from west part of Turkiye, and i practice midnight ligthning in particularly open-sided houses, also sometimes in blackout ones; since it may though reach up to 30C in the house in day time for 6 hours. For the broiler i have recently tried feed restriction from 08:00 until 18:00 or until it falls to 27C, especially when birds are 30 days or older.
    But i have to mention that when feed is given to feeders they abandone on through the feeders even when the light is off. This has lead to another way as lights off during the day time as for two hours light on and two hours off, but for larger birds four hours off. This prevents the birds running huddling over the feeders in order to keep the equipments' from being damaged.
    Hope this may give you some ideas.
    Dr. ilker HOSGOR DVM

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    Eddy Mehta

    The problems associated with heat stress are varied and eventually cost the farmer a lot of money. Using electrolytes and minerals in water, one has to be very careful as most products are carried on a glucose or sugar base, which in-turn causes secondary problems with bio-films and bacterial growth in the drinking lines as well as header tanks. We have been trailing the Ashkan Poultry Tonic, which has electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids and fatty acids as well as Nucleotides with major positive effects on reduced Mortality, better weight gain and better health in Broilers. As birds under heat stress will reduce feed intake, nutrients can be provided in water to ensure the birds are health.

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    Hi. In summer or when the temperature is very high, flowability of water is very important and also trees around the farm.

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    zulkernain akhter BS(POULTRY SCIENCES)

    Iman has told us about the role of trees around the farm to maintain the temperature but the very bad thing which could happen is the introduction of the wild birds which are host vector of A.influenza.so the trees around the farm is somewhat more harmful than the advantageous. Isn't it..

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    Hello, can somebody please tell me whats the ideal temperature in which hens that are laying eggs should be? I'm new to this buisness and i wish to know this information.

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    Dr Atef Abou Zeid,,prof. of poultry dis. Egypt

    In summer or when the temperature is very high,preferable to added ammonium or barium chloride to the water at rate of 1 gm/L

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    Dr M asif raza

    In Pakistan summer temperature goes up to 50 degree C .In open farming farmer use sand as a litter .water is sprayed over the sand and birds during the day time. In water sodium bicarbonate, Ammonium chloride is used which helps the birds during panting. Vitamain C, and Electrolytes also help the birds to combat with heat stress.In environment controlled farms, it is easy to control heat stress by feed restriction, by controlling the light and by air speed.

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