How to Prevent heat stress in poultry

How to Prevent heat stress in poultry

Chickens are very sensitive and at risk of overheating due to heat stress and hot, humid weather. Chickens do not sweat and must know how to release the heat through other means. Chickens often raise their wings to light up areas without feathers. This requires more energy than just sweat. Finally, without relief from the heat, chickens will often be exhausted from heat exhaustion and heat stress. When chickens breathe a lot, it increases their breathing rate, which affects egg laying, growth rate, and even leads to high mortality. 

What is heat stress?
Chickens are very sensitive to high temperatures and their energy loss is limited by their plumage, high metabolic activity and lack of sweat. Heat stress usually occurs when chickens are exposed to high temperatures combined with low air velocity and high humidity.
It is the temperature combined with the humidity level that determines the level of heat stress. 

How do chickens react to extreme heat?
Chickens will try to restore their temperature balance in the environment by changing their behavior.

  •   Panting and rapids breathing; 
  •  Try to stay away from other chickens; 
  • Pale combs and wattles; 
  •  Raise their wings and their wings are straight; 
  •  More napping and less movement; 
  • Increased water intake and reduced nutrient intake; 
  • Nausea; 
  • Reduced egg production; 
  • sleepiness and fatigue; 
  •  High death rate in the herd.


Support and relief measures for chickens under heat stress
Heat stress in chickens can have a negative effect on profit, performance and production. The different systems can be used to relieve light pressure and chicken.


Change the management process properly, such as ventilation, stocking density. litter management and others. Design and arrange the farm house to reduce heat stress as much as possible. Remove the building material properly to prevent the heat gain of the sun. 

Stocking density

One of the best ways to prevent heat stress is to avoid overheating. To reduce the temperature immediately, reduce the number of chickens in the house. Avoid unnecessary activities. Summer heat is stressful enough for chickens. Make sure you don't disturb the chickens during the best hours of the day.

Provide ventilation

Often the temperature in the house can control the air. Ventilation in the chicken helps spread heat through the chicken. Therefore, it is important to increase ventilation to remove heat from the chicken. However, in some cases there may be too much air.
Air-conditioned rooms are at risk of heat stress if there is still air and there are no other fans. Aeration houses can be at risk if the air quality and air mix are not suitable for the size and number of chickens.

The chickens are often hungry in the morning and blow themselves up. However, they are more susceptible to heat stress during the day. One solution may be to remove the feed six hours before the afternoon peak, thus reducing the risk of heat stress. 

Feed can be restored once the temperature drops. The chickens can feed at night when the temperature is expected to cool. When you're going down the list, it's important that the feeder are already full. The light can be used at night (midnight) to make the chicken eat. Depending on how often you use this feeding method, some loss of body weight may be experienced. Therefore, follow this feeding method only when heat stress temperatures are expected. 


Water management

Under heat stress, chickens will increase their water intake 2 to 4 times. Sufficient water space, efficient water supply and cool water will encourage chickens to drink. Always provide plenty of fresh drinking water (around 20°C is ideal). Protect drinking water from direct sunlight to keep it fresh: use a roof over the tank and paint the tank white to get fresh drinking water.

 Use electrolytes

One option to reduce heat stress is to add electrolytes to the flock's drinking water for three days. The loss of many minerals, including potassium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc, causes heat stress. To increase hydration, electrolytes can be used. 

Providing sodium bicarbonate

Give sodium bicarbonate for laying hen, using sodium bicarbonate in food or using carbonated water is useful. The acid balance in poultry can be changed by breathing in the release of carbon dioxide due to heat stress. In addition, the available bicarbonate, which is important for egg production, can be changed. In reducing these changes, sodium bicarbonate can be used. 

 Heat champ

Heat-Champ reduces/prevents heat stress in poultry and benefits from better nutrition, improved feed production, reduced feed costs, increased heat resistance , lower mortality, better technical performance, improved egg production.


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