PROTECTING POULTRY FROM THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF HEAT STRESS

Birds are animals with a constant body temperature; their body temperature is independent of the ambient temperature within a certain limit.

Body temperature is maintained by a physical and chemical thermoregulatory system. However, they are still unable to infinitely regulate their internal temperature.

Extreme heat causes significant deaths, mainly in large turkey flocks, but causes loss of production in all poultry. Severe damage occurs particularly in closed livestock farms that are not air-conditioned. As a result of high temperatures, feed intake decreases in hens. In laying hens at 30 ° C, it can decrease by up to 30-35% compared to the value measured at 20-22 ° C. (Ota, 1966; Jack and Reviers, 1973). The feed consumption of large-bodied breeds is more strongly affected by temperature fluctuations than that of smaller-bodied ones.

According to technical estimates, the heat may cause a several percent drop in egg production. It won’t decrease significantly until 27-29 ° C. But, if the temperature continues to rise, the decrease in feed consumption will be such that this egg yield is steep; it leads to a 8-30% fall (Kakuk, 1981). High temperatures reduce the thickness and breaking strength of the eggshell.

In the final rearing phases of broiler chickens, ducks, and geese, there is a change of either weight gain or loss of 20-50 decagrams. In turkey flocks, the change is 1-1.5 kilograms. Prolonged heat stress (ambient temperature above 32 ° C) results in changes in body composition. With chickens, this generally means experiencing a decrease in body protein and an increase in fat content.

It has been known for a long time that low fertility can be caused due to heat stress. This is mainly due to the 50% decrease in sperm production in males, and a decline in mating activity. In addition to males, heat can also have a serious effect on hens, by causing a large reduction in the number of fertile eggs caused by impaired egg maturation.

There are countless ways to prevent heat stress. It is important to pay attention to proper ventilation, humidification, stocking density, fresh and cold drinking water, and possibly even watering the roof.

Many feed supplements are also available for control. To meet the amino acid needs of animals, amino acids (Norovit Thermo and Norovit Amino Forte) should be added and not protein, as proteins have a very high heat-increasing effect. An increased supply of minerals (Vitapol Pulvis) and vitamins (Jolovit) are important to prevent the development of relative or absolute deficiencies due to reduced feed intake during the warm summer months. Vitamin C and E supplementation can be helpful during times of heat stress.

Vitaplan C Extra is an excellent antidote to heat stress mortality increase and production decrease. It is made up of a unique composition of a mixture of minerals that can be added to drinking water. It has high levels of vitamin C, which have been developed for effective treatment against heat stress.

Vitaplan C Extra should be used on the herd during and after periods of heat stress to prevent an increase in mortality and a decrease in production. The product limits the dehydration of the animals by increasing water intake and ensures the maintenance of homeostasis which helps to avoid sudden cardiac death and muscle problems. It has a good effect on fixing the appetite and production after heat stress. Vitamin C improves the absorption of nutrients from the intestinal tract, including iron. It also improves the body’s ability to retain fluids.

Another excellent option for vitamin C supplementation is Vitaplan C oral, which contains active vitamin C for 16 hours. This property of the supplement is especially important and useful during the warm period, when vitamin C loses its antioxidant effect sooner. Norovit-thermo is a well-proven product, which thanks to its vitamin and amino acid composition, is an ideal choice for maintaining optimal production even on hot days. During periods of heat stress, it is advisable to use the supplements in the morning and not in the evening, when their effect is more pronounced. Find our products in our customer service and contact our sales representatives for more information.

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