Mississippi’s high temperatures challenge poultry

20-08-2007 | |

Poultry, as well as other agricultural commodities, are feeling the heat in Mississippi.

Poultry, livestock, and field crops are struggling through the hottest days of summer. In poultry units, the damage from heat stress can be seen in only a matter of minutes.
According to poultry specialist, Craig Coufal, heat becomes an issue every summer, even though extremely hot days are not uncommon at this time of the year. Farmers need to keep a close eye on the birds and must be ready to respond quickly if necessary. Coufal states that birds typically eat less, and body weights are lower at processing time. Additionally, mortalities are not uncommon.
“Modern broiler facilities are environmentally controlled with evaporative cooling pads and fans to help keep the birds cooler,” Coufal said. However, he says: “If something does break down, it is a matter of minutes before the impact is felt.”
Heat-stress concerns are not limited to Mississippi’s poultry and other agricultural commodities. Risk management specialist, Ted Gordon, sid there are more workers’ compensation claims for heat illness in agricultural workers than any other occupation.
Temperature forcast highs in Mississippi for today, 20 Aug, 2007, are 92 – 100ºF (33 – 38ºC)

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