18 Ways To Handle Heat Stress In Poultry
- Heat stress occurs when the bird’s core body temperature increases to fatal level because of poor heat loss and limited coping means.
- Environmental temperature and humidity play a role in heat stress. Thus it is key to measure both the temperature and humidity in the barn.
- The thermo=neutral zone is the range of environmental temperatures that an organism can maintain their body temperature. For most poultry, the thermo=neutral zone is between 60 and 75°F.
- During heat stress, as air temperatures increase towards 85 F, the bird will try to lose heat through evaporative cooling, panting.
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- During heat stress, panting in poultry birds create more heat through muscle activity. As a result, the bird will increase its water intake, but notenough to keep up with the losses through respiration and urine excretion. Without relief, the changes will worsen and the bird may die.
- During heat stress in poultry, naturally-ventilated barns are at risk of heat stress. if the air is calm, supplemental fans can be provided to improve ventilation.
- During heat stress, mechanically-ventilated pens can also be at risk if barns lack ventilation capacity and air mixing for the size and number of birds present.
- Most often, birds are hungriest in the morning and will tend to fill up. This will make them more prone to heat stress in the afternoon.
- During hot periods, withdrawing feed from birds six hours before peak warm temperatures in the afternoon can lower the risk of heat stress.
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