Excess heat can affect animals a lot especially the grown ones, this heat causes their body to hot and sometimes it makes them seem like they are running fever. It also causes panting and disturbs their feeding, the effect of heat on poultry animals is what we recall heat stress.

Heat stress

Heat stress can be said to be a situation whereby the birds are experiencing high body temperature and this can be as a result of increased in temperature of the solar (sun) radiation. This occurs when the body is unable to cool down to a normal temperature or get rid of excess heat.

Whenever a bird is experiencing heat stress, the visible symptoms are reduced feeding, drinking of excess water, watery droplets due to much consumption of water, reduction in bird performance panting and lying with the sides and legs stretched.

Factors responsible for heat stress in birds

Studies that has been carried out on several occasion shows that the below are common factors that causes heat stress in birds;

Inadequate spacing of the birds due to lack of space can cause heat stress because the air flow in and around the accommodation thereby keeping in the heat generated from the body of the birds.

Increase in the temperature of the sun especially during the summer period when the environment temperature is usually very high.

Poorly ventilated facilities makes inflow and outflow of air to be difficult thereby keeping in the heat and as well preventing inflow of fresh cool breeze into the pen.

Lack of water supply and other cooling gadgets.

Allowing excess feces on the pen.

Consequences of heat stress on poultry

Causes reduced growth due to reduction in feeding.

Increases the mortality rates.

Reduced in egg production and lower the quality of egg.

Ways to manage heat stress in poultry

Food digestion also causes heat in birds, so best time to feed the birds are usually when the atmospheric temperature is low or dropping.

Provide adequate sun shade to prevent direct contact and reduce heat production.

Provision of adequate ventilation is also important.

Addition of expeller fan to the pen house to aid in expelling heat generated in the pen.

Avoiding overpopulation is one the best way to reduce heat, overpopulated pen can cause heat stress and you can solve this by reducing the number of birds in the pen.

Remove all feeding trays from the pen during high temperature moment for ease access of birds to water.

Activities of the birds also produce heat in the birds therefore reduce the bird’s activities during the high temperature period.

Addition of ascorbic acid or vitamin C to their water helps them in relieving the effect of heat stress in the birds.

Whenever there is hot air and their water is warm, it is advisable to change their water or throw in some ice into the water container to drop down the water temperature.

Droppings from the birds also causes heat, always clean their feces as this also helps in heat reduction

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