25 QUICK FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT POULTRY HEAT STRESS
1. Heat stress is that condition in which the body temperature is so high as to interfere with homeostaticprocess.
2. Heat stress if continued will lead to prostration and death of the poultry birds.
3. In the tropical countries like Nigeria, it is associated with high environmental temperatures.
4. Clinical signs of Poultry Heat Stress include panting, increased thirst, reduced appetite, fall in production and size of eggs with thinning of shells.
5. In broilers, there is reduced production and birds will be standing with wings outstretched and, eventually prostration and death.
6. The temperature of affected birds may be as high as 42ºC.
7. The carcasses of birds that have died of heat stress are markedly congested and there are often mucoid exudates in the nostrils and the month.
8. The genetic the genetic constitution of the birds may influence the effect of high ambient temperature on poultry.
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9. In general, broiler breeds are more susceptible than Layers.
10. The naked neck frizzle chickens are more tolerant of hot humid conditions than fully feathered birds.
11. High stocking density can make poultry more susceptible to heat stress.
12. High protein ration can make poultry submit quickly to heat stress.
13. An inadequate supply of drinking water may adversely affect the response of stock to high temperatures.
14. Gradual acclimatization to high ambient temperatures is of considerable value in lowering the basal metabolic rate (BMR) and increasing resistance to heat stress.
15. Air movement, in the form of wind speed or ventilation and fans, may help in providing heat loss.
16. Certain drugs, such as nicarbazine, may reduce tolerance.
17. Tranquilizers usually have ameliorating effect on poultry birds reducing heat stress.
18. Chicks up to about 3 weeks are more tolerant than older birds.
19. High humidity has a highly adverse effect on cooling.
20. Poultry heat stress control is aimed at providing an optimal environment for survival and production and reducing the basic metabolic rate (BMR) of the birds.
21. Houses should be of optimal height and width to provide adequate ventilation.
22. The roof should be insulated and outside painted white to minimize the effect of radiation.
23. Water sprinklers may be provided for roof and perhaps the ground around the house.
24. Evaporation coolers, through which air is drawn into the building is good.
25. The birds should be provided with adequate water and a ration with reduced protein energy ration and the stocking density reduced on floors and cages to about 80% of that tolerated in cooler condition.