Methods to Reduce Heat Stress in Poultry Birds

hen and rooster looking for feed

Birds are warm-blooded and can maintain their body temperature within certain limits of environmental temperature. To maintain body temperature heat loss from the body to the environment must be equal to the heat produced within the body as a result of digestion, absorption, and metabolism of feed. So a proper environment to keep thermal balance is necessary.

Birds have no sweat glands and must therefore use other means of dissipating heat. The comb and wattle areas are highly vascularized and exposed to the atmosphere. When there is a severe rise in temperature, the primary cooling mechanism is respiratory in nature. Heat can be transferred from the inner body to the surface through the following mechanism.

  • Conduction
  • Convection
  • Evaporation
  • Radiation

If the temperature goes beyond the upper critical limit of 37°C then the body develops heat and death may occur.

In this article, we’ll simply discuss ways to reduce heat stress in poultry birds. If you are curious about how heat is produced in poultry birds, you can take a look at this article.

Methods to Reduce Heat Stress in Poultry Birds

There are several methods to reduce heat stress in birds. Some of these are:

1- Feeding Practices

Encourage feeding the birds in the cooler hours of the day, such as extremely early in the morning or late at night if you want to reduce heat stress in poultry birds. After 2-4 hours of feeding, the body produces the most energy, so alter the schedule so that this energy is produced during the cool hours of the day.

2- Vertically Mounted Fans

Although vertically mounted fans don’t lower the temperature, they do help to facilitate panting by moving the hot, humid air away from birds through convection. A 3 m/s air speed is beneficial to minimize heat stress in poultry birds.

3- Reflected Paints

White reflective paint on the roof can lead to a 3-8°C reduction in the inside temperature.

4- Sprinkling the Roof

Using a sprinkler to sprinkle water over a roof will cool the roof and the surrounding air. Water is needed in great plenty for this. This has a 5-degree reduction in temperature. It has the advantage of not raising indoor humidity or causing wet litter, which is beneficial.

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5- Evaporative Cooling Systems

An Evaporative cooling system is employed when the air temperature is greater than 85°F and relative humidity is less than 80%. In view of higher humidity at night water pumps of the evaporative cooling system should not be run between 10 pm to 9 am. Evaporative cooling systems are of two types.

  • Fogging System
  • Pad and Fan System.

These are more effective when there is good air movement. Air speed should be maintained at 350 and 400 m/sec. for pad and fogger, respectively. This system uses the principle of negative pressure where at one end cooling pads are used which are kept moist with water and on the other end fans are erected. Fans are used to pull cool air from water pads. The efficiency of cooling is dependent upon relative humidity.

Giveaway: Trees should be planted around the sheds at a considerable distance because they cool the air entering the house

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