Summer Management Of Poultry

Summer Management Of Poultry

Summer season hot weather can have a severe impact on poultry performance. Heat stress begins when the ambient temperature climbs above 80F .When a bird begins to pant, physiological changes started. Heat stress Birds affect growth rate, hatchability, egg size, eggshell quality, and egg production.
  1. Ambient Temperature and Heat Stress 
Thermal neutral zone. The temperature range in which the bird does not need alter its basic metabolic rate or behavior to maintain its body temperature.
550 to 750 F
12.70 to 240C
Ideal temperature range
650 to 750 F
18.0 to 240C
A slight reduction in feed consumption can be expected, but if nutrient intake is adequate, production efficiency is good. Egg size may reduce and shell quality may suffer as temperature reach the top of this range.
650 to 750 F
18.0 to 240C
Feed consumption falls further. Weight gains are lower. Egg size and shell quality deteriorate. Egg production usually suffers. Cooling procedures should be started before this temperature range is reached.
850 to 900 F
30.0 to 330C
Feed consumption continues to drop. There is some danger of heat prostration among layers, especially the heavier birds and those in full production. At these temperatures, cooling procedures must be carried out.
900 to 950 F
33.0 to 350C
Heat prostration is probable. Emergency measures may be needed. Egg production and feed consumption are severely reduced. Water consumption is very high.
950 to 1000 F
35.0 to 370C
Emergency measures are needed to cool birds. Survival is the concern at this temperature.
Over 1000 F
Over 370C

Method of Heat Loss

Sensible heat loss methods
  1. Radiation
  2. Conduction
  3. Convection
Latent heat loss methods
  1. Evaporation
0 F %  of Heat loss
Temp. Sensible Evaporative
40 85 15
50 84 16
60 80 20
70 75 25
80 50 50
90 40 60
100 18 82
heat loss chart
heat loss chart

Physiological Effects of Panting

Panting removes heat by the evaporation of water from the moist lining of the respiratory tract. However, panting itself generates body heat, and it causes poultry of eliminating water from the body. It can induce reparatory alkalosis, occurs because the bird “blows off” excessive carbon dioxide (CO2) when it pants. As a result, body fluids become more alkaline, causing the kidneys to excrete excessive amounts of several electrolytes.
Heat stress broiler
Heat stress broiler
Feed and Feeder Management:
Any management technique that increases nutrient intake during heat stress will minimize the drop in production efficiency.  Three easy ways to increase nutrient consumption are-
  1. Increase nutrient density.
  2. Take advantage of natural increases in feed consumption at certain times of the day.
  • Adjust ventilation fans to provide more cooling during the evening.
Building construction
  1. Building site, b) orientation, c) Insulation, d) Roof overhang, e) Equipment design all affect the temperature inside the poultry house, f) Pad quality.
Techniques for Managing Heat Stress in summer season
  1. A grass cover on the grounds surrounding the poultry house will reduce the reflection of sunlight into the house. Vegetation should be kept trimmed to avoid blocking air movement and to help reduce rodent problems. Shade trees should be located where they do not restrict air movement.
  2. Fans routinely maintained. Maintenance should include cleaning the fan and keeping pulleys and belts in good condition and properly adjusted.
  3. Keeping a reliable, clean, cool source of water available to poultry. Electrolytes can be added to the drinking water to replace those that are lost and to stimulate water consumption.
  4. Another factor that affects heat gain of a house is the condition of the roof. A shiny surface can reflect twice as much solar radiation as a rusty or dark metal roof. The roof kept free from dust and rust.
Air velocity(ft/m) Temp.(0F)
75 88
100 82
200 72
300 68
400 64
500 62

Air velocity (ft/min)
Air velocity (ft/min)
The signs of heat stress are –
  • open mouth panting,
  • wing spreading;
  • hunker down close to the ground. By adjusting the position of their feathers, the birds are trying to lose heat,
  • By gasping they are losing water in the breath and cooling themselves by evaporation from the surface of lungs & Respiratory line.
Even if the bird is not sick, these are serious matters for the farmer because he knows by experience that production falls in direct proportion to the bird’s temperature and discomfort.  With no treatment and worsening conditions, the birds will die.
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