Poultry Stress – 2020, Feb.

Nébih also detected the presence of avian influenza virus in large poultry farms in 2020.

The authority took the necessary measures without delay, killing the animals with state compensation to prevent the spread of the virus. The national chief veterinarian has ordered poultry to be kept closed off throughout the country.

Keeping the poultry enclosed for the prevention of new diseases is a particularly difficult situation for semi-intensive poultry (especially waterfowl), due to the smaller space, narrower feeding options, higher stocking densities. All this poses a new challenge not only for animal keepers, but also for our birds.

What exactly is it? What effects does it have on our animals, the animal keepers, the owner, and our economic results? I will summarize this briefly in my writing.

What effects can we expect in animals under stress? The production of CRH, the pituitary ACTH hormone, increases in the hypothalamus. The hormone ACTH causes an increase in cortisol production in the adrenal gland, as a result of which significant amounts of adrenaline and noradrenaline are produced in the adrenal medulla. The effects of these hormones are multifaceted, including a significant reduction in the immune response and the formation of immune cells in the lymph nodes.

Additional effects:

Stress at the cellular level: body temperature rises, and therefore the mitochondrial energy production system is disrupted. Free radicals are formed in large quantities.

As a result of the above processes, the antioxidant demand at the cellular level increases, the antioxidant stores are depleted, and oxidative damage is formed in the cell organs. Disruption occurs in the use of antioxidants and in the functioning of the immune system. At the same time, the function of the amino acid transport system in the intestinal wall and muscles changes, and metabolic processes change; blood sugar levels rise; blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels change.

Decreased appetite reduces mineral uptake and uptake of antioxidants. Due to the increased stocking density and congestion, aggressive manifestations are becoming more common among our animals.

Stress at the level of the animal body: along with the above changes, the physiological state of the animal body also changes. Blood pressure rises and blood sugar levels rise. Heart rate and muscle activity increase. The body’s energy needs increase; digestion and immune function decreases; feed intake decreases.

Water uptake also usually decreases but may increase in some situations. Regulatory processes are initiated, normal bodily functions are altered, digestive efficiency deteriorates, and reproductive and immune system disorders occur. During these processes, appetite decreases first, and then the animal starts drinking either more or less. Due to drinking a lot of water, more urine is formed, which removes a significant amount of minerals from the body, and the acid-base balance is upset. As a result, growth and production are reduced. Depending on the degree of cellular dysfunction, growth and production may even stop. Cell recovery processes are damaged, resistance to diseases and toxins is reduced, the immune system is reduced, and the number of sudden deaths is increased.

In order to reduce territorial conflicts, gentle reassurance may sometimes be needed.

To reduce the damage caused by congested placement, we increase the ventilation of the building, as higher air speeds reduce humidity. However, cold winter air can overcool parts of buildings, increasing susceptibility to disease. If possible, the stocking density should be reduced.

Stress at the farm level: Lower production results (eggs, weight gain, reproductive biology), deteriorating immune response to vaccination, increase in disease, and increased mortality. Economic damage can be significant.

Things to do and opportunities:

By using anti-stress products, the economic damage can be significantly reduced. Recommended feed supplements during the stressful period: Vitapol products for all animal species: improve appetite, increase digestive efficiency, reduce diarrheal processes, and strengthen the immune system. It is also available in water-soluble or feed-miscible form.

Norovit thermo: the classic “heat stress products” have a good effect in any stressful situation, as they replace the substances in the body that are in demand in stressful situations. It delivers antioxidants, amino acids and vitamins to the body according to increased needs.

Vitamin Cs: Vitaplan C oral and Vitaplan C extra: extremely useful with a long duration of activity. Antioxidants increase resistance to disease. The released harmful radicals are neutralized at the level of cell organs.

Mild sedatives: herbal products that reduce the aggression of our animals. Durelax’s lemongrass and magnesium content is a gentle sedative and can be used in all kinds of stressful situations. The Stresroak herbal combination is one of the complex solutions for stress management: soothing, strengthening, antioxidant.

StressPack SL: Water-soluble feed supplement to overcome stressful situations. A balanced solution for dealing with stressful situations in all animal species. Ingredients: Vitamin C, betaine, tryptophan and organically bound magnesium. It has an extensive effect against all kinds of stressors, and it increases the physiological stress tolerance of animals.

By using the water-soluble feed supplements suggested above, a reduction in production due to closed housing can be prevented or significantly reduced. Support your animals in times of stress!

By: Dr. József Leitold

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