How to handle Heat prostration in Poultry Farming
1. Older birds (over 5 weeks) and adults (especially heavy breeds) in production are more susceptible to high temperatures accompanied by high humidity.
2. Lacking sweat glands, birds’ only method of cooling is by rapid respiration with mouths, a form of evaporative cooling, open and wings relaxed and hanging loosely at their sides.
3. When outside temperatures approach 100oF and relative humidity reaches 90%, body temperatures rise, the birds become week and feed consumption is decreased.
4. If this continues for several days or weeks, the birds may die due to respiratory, circulatory, or electrolyte imbalances.
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5. Birds in production will show a dramatic decrease in egg production and shell quality will deteriorate.
6. Every attempt should be made to improve air circulation with additional fans. Insulation of the building and use of white or minum paint on the outside of the building will reflect heat.
7. Water sprinklers can be installed on the roof or over side curtains to cool the house. Installation of high- pressure foggers in the ceiling or evaporation coolers on the side-walls will also significantly reduce inside temperatures when the relative humidity falls below 75%
8. A system of tunnel ventilation (exhaust fans at one end of the house and air inlets at the other end) will provide significantly more efficient cooling and heating throughout the year.
9. Reducing bird concentration and providing bird’s cool water with vitamin C, electrolytes and/or aspirin will also reduce heat stress. Increasing the nutrient density of the feed (increased energy and protein) and/or feeding early in the morning or late in the evening are also important during hot weather when the birds’ feed intake is less.