Managing Heat Stress in Poultry

Date: 04/07/18

Managing Heat Stress in Poultry

When birds have difficulty maintaining a balance between body heat production and loss it can lead to ‘heat stress’. This can be caused by a number of factors but is much more likely to become a problem when the ambient outside temperature is increased for a period of time. During the summer months and in particular during a heatwave it is important to look out for the signs of heat stress and take steps to manage this accordingly.

A key factor in heat stress is the design of the house to include adequate ventilation and insulation. Poorly ventilated or highly insulated houses can increase the likelihood that birds will suffer from heat stress. Management factors such as overstocking and bird handling can all contribute to the condition. It’s vital that these areas have been reviewed and that all staff are aware of the risk factors and actions to take in times of higher temperatures.

It can be helpful to review nutrition for the flock in these situations. Birds suffering from heat stress will naturally reduce their feed intake and panting can cause dehydration so it is important to try and maintain water intake to reduce body temperature.

The addition of a complementary liquid supplement to the drinking water such as Vitacool can help by stimulating water consumption. It also supplies essential electrolytes and energy with high levels of vitamin C. Vitacool is diluted at a rate of 1.0-1.5ml to 1 litre of clean drinking water and can be fed as required during periods of stress.

For more information about Vitacool or our full range of nutritional supplements please speak to your Kilco representative.

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