Heat Stress in poultry - Solving the problem

Pashu Sandesh, 13 April 2022

Dr V. Rajendra Prasad

Current production methods often involve large numbers of birds being housed together making them susceptible to heat stress. Heat Stress not only causes suffering and death in the birds but results in reduced or lost production and hence adversely affects the profit from the enterprise.

House Heat Balance:

Heat is added to the air of a building :

a) by the body heat production,

b) heat from electric lights and motors,

c) sometimes heat from the roof and walls,

d) and heat from the fermentation of the litter or accumulated droppings.

e) Of these, the dominant source of heat is body heat. 

Ways to Combat Heat Stress in Chickens:

Management methods:

a) Give cold water below the body temperature of the bird and addition of Vit C to drinking water

b) Proper feeding time particularly early in the morning or late in the afternoon in the tropics and during hot weather

c) Ensuring good ventilation and air quality within the pen

d) Proper litter management in the deep litter system

e) Position sufficient circulation fans correctly.

f) Insulate the house structure sufficiently to avoid solar heat gain.

h) Reducing water temperature will ensure lowering the body temperature of birds.

I) in open houses fans, sprinklers and side curtains should be used to mitigate heat stress.

Also the importance of :

a) having the right phytase OptiPhos plus Huvepharma in feed 

b) and the about optimum Dietary Electrolyte Balance.

c) role of immunomodulators in reducing stress.

d) which can help birds overcome fluctuations in health and production that occur during heat stress.

6. Immediately advise the farmers to use electrolytes in water to maintain DEB.

7. Increase by 10% Vitamins and Minerals in feed.

8. Immunotech forte of ABTL be added in feed 250 gms for a ton of feed to boost immunity during heat stress which is the need of the hour.

9. Supply of continuous water is of utmost importance during summer.

a) First and foremost, make sure your flock has access to clean, cool water at all times.

b) Flush water lines and waterers routinely to keep the water fresh and cool.

10. In open houses fans, sprinklers and side curtains can be used.

11. The use of vitamin C at 150 to 200 gms for a ton of feed as an anti-stress agent, is often considered during periods of heat stress.

In inbreeding poultry, vitamin C can effectively moderate as:

- warm temperature declines egg production.

- and eggshell quality in laying hens,

- and sperm production in breeder males.

There is a strong link between heat stress and intestinal inflammation with far-reaching consequences for intestinal barrier function. Probiotics and prebiotics during summer.

Enzymes in feed during heat stress will:

a) improve birds’ health and optimise their performance by

b) positively contributing to microbiome modulation, leading to optimum gut health