High environmental temperatures can have a significant detrimental impact on production

Hot weather across the country during summer months brings a variety of challenges to the poultry sector. 

When temperatures start to exceed 28°C or when there is a sudden change of temperatures (+-10°C) birds will have  reduced thermotolerance.  Thermostress conditions will lead to an immediate reduction in growth rates, poor FCR and increased mortalities.  High environmental temperatures can also have a significant detrimental effect on laying hen performance, reducing feed intake, egg production and quality, as well as increasing mortalities.  So how do we increase the birds resilience against heat stress?

The main reason for the loss of production and weight gain during these periods is the depletion of critical cations and anions in the blood.  Loss of potassium (cation) occurs in the urine.  While excess panting during hot conditions in attempt to cool the bird results in a reduction in carbon dioxide and bicarbonate levels in the blood.  This imbalance of ions and blood pH will prevent optimum production and/or lead to increased mortalities.  Nutritional intervention will be necessary to restore equilibrium. 

Supplementation with additives that include ascorbic acid, such as Heat Stress Hydration Pack, will prevent oxidative damage and assist to increase energy retention during reduced energy periods. 

Ascorbic Acid is an organic acid which can be used to inhibit the growth of micro-organisms in the GIT, modify pH levels and improve feed utilisation. 

Supplementation with ascorbic acid can significantly increase egg production and quality during heat stress conditions.  Increasing ascorbic acid intake can be achieved by supplementing the drinking water with 2 – 4 kg Heat Stress Hydration Pack for 3 -5 days during heat spells.

Reduced feed intake during hot conditions means that the birds nutritional daily requirements are often not met resulting in reduced production.  A liquid nutritional supplement such as Super Tonic will provide the birds with essential nutrients  and assist in boosting growth and water intake during these stress conditions.

Another method to assist in alleviating heat stress is by dosing Super Air into the drinking water at 40 ml per 200 L.  With a blend of essential aromatic oils, including menthol, Super Air will aid breathing through its vasodilatory and cooling effect on the airways. 

Managing heat stress is possible with the appropriate supplementation. 

Contact Super Agri Science for your custom programs.