Summer Stress Management for Poultry
Dr Krishna Sahoo
Global Product Manager – Proteon Pharmaceuticals
Studies have revealed that changes in the environment, like the heat wave, adversely affect poultry. It affects their egg size, egg-shell quality and egg production, body weight & hatchability. Heat stress means that a bird is unable to manage the heat it loses and produces. Though there can be many stressors, such as nutritional, physiological, psychological, social and poor management, but environmental stress affects poultry the worst. Ideal temperature for proper production is 18 – 23 degree Celsius, and when it changes, production performance of commercial poultry declines.
Effects of Heat wave on Poultry
During the heat wave, birds start eating less and drinks more water, but their body’s capacity to retain it is affected due to the loss of potassium and other electrolytes from the body. So, even though they try to keep up with the weather, they are still affected massively. They get dehydrated and lose body weight as well, which impacts the production.
Diseases caused during the Heat Wave
The worst thing that happens during such high temperatures is that birds become more vulnerable to CRD (chronic respiratory disease) E. coli & Salmonella sp.. E.coli is specifically problematic as a secondary disease. The moment birds become a little susceptible to any disease, E. coli wiggles in, adding to the poor birds’ deteriorating the health. It is essential to add proper supplements like BAFACOL & BAFASAL+G to support birds health & prevent the mortality.
Symptoms of sickness
Birds show clear symptoms of heat stress.
- Increased body temperature
- Reduced appetite
- Increased intake of water
- Reduction in egg production
- Reduced body weight gain
- Poor egg-shell quality
- Reduced hatchability
How to avoid heat stress in poultry?
These diseases caused by heat stress lead to major financial losses and increased birds’ mortality. There are many preventive measures that help in avoiding such a problematic situation. But it takes proper preventive ‘medication’, housing management and caution to care for poultry and avoid heat stress. One important fact to remember here is that adding unnecessary antibiotics to the bird’s feed can be quite counter-productive. It adversely affects the bird’s health and the environment. There is a better way to get through this.
Bacteriophages are better at the job here, since they are easy to use, non-toxic and helps in reducing the infection without creating antibacterial resistance. It took years of research and development to get Bacteriophages to be industrially used. Proteon Pharmaceuticals rose to the challenge of establishing a platform for deeper research into these possibilities and developed BAFACOL & BAFASAL+G. It is natural, non-GMO and biodegradable, and is suitable for all poultry species. This may as well be the birds’ best friend, since it supports their health, production performance and FCR. It is highly effective and can be used for packaged and processed meat production. BAFACOL & BAFASAL+G is revolutionising poultry management by keeping poultry farms from lowered productivity and financial losses. And the interesting fact is that it does this without negatively affecting the microbiome.
Management of space and housing for poultry
Other than using as BAFACOL & BAFASAL+G as a feed supplement, there are several basics that farmers should adhere to during the heat wave.
- Overcrowding of birds should be avoided.
- Proper cross ventilation, fans, water sprinkled curtains, thatched roofs and other structural measures to keep the birds away from all that heat.
- All transport activities should be carried out at night.
- Increase clean and cool watering frequency, as deprivation of water can increase risk of mortality.
- Cover water tanks with gunny sacks to avoid it from direct sunlight.
- Feed to water ratio is usually 1:2, but in temperatures beyond 95 degree Celsius, the ratio should be changed to 1:4.
- Feed should be provided during early hours of daytime in broilers.
- Increase nutrient density to compensate for reduced feed intake. ·
- Available phosphorous content should be increased.
Keep an eye on those birdies. They shouldn’t get too hot, no matter how much the weather does.
This is literally just the half of it. Birds need a lot of good care and management to be healthy and productive. Proteon Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to help farmers make the best of their farms and makes an effort through its products to improve their profitability.