Impact of Heat Stress on Poultry Production

Heat stress is a major challenge in Poultry and dairy production, especially during the hot summer months. It occurs when birds/animals face difficulty in achieving a balance between body heat production and heat loss. This imbalance can lead to several health issues and production losses.


 ⬆ Mortality                    ⬇ Feed intake

 ⬇ Gut health                  ⬆ CFCR

 ⬇ Body weight             ⬇ Meat quality

 ⬇ Immunity                  ⬇ Egg production.

 ⬇ Egg weight                ⬇ Egg shell quality

 ⬇ Albumin height       ⬇ Hatchability


Mitigating strategies to reduce heat stress in poultry

 1. Drinker system management -

  • Availability of drinking water
  • Sufficient water flow (> 70 ml/minute/nipple drinker)
  • Sufficient drinker space
  • Additional drinkers for floor-reared flocks
  • Keeping water temperature below 25°C
  • Flushing water lines during the afternoon
  • Vitamin and electrolyte supplements in the drinking water
  • Installation of water tank inside the shed
  • Pandhal and whitewash for water tank which is outside
  • Underground water pipeline
  • Covering of pipeline which is not underground

2. Ventilation and Farm management

  • Do not disturb the birds during the hottest time of the day
  • Adjust work schedules and lighting programs
  • Management practices should be done in the early morning hours (beak trimming, transfer and vaccinations)
  • Use foggers and misters – Adjust time on the basis of temperature and humidity.
  • Using roof sprinklers during times of extremely high temperature
  • Do not run the feeders during the hottest time of the day
  • Increase the movement of air in open houses with stir fans - minimum velocity of 1.8–2.0 meters/ second
  • Do not overstock cages
  • Transport birds early in the morning or at night

3. Lighting Program

  • Adjust the lighting program to provide more morning light hours - to encourage feed consumption
  • Use a midnight feeding of 1–2 hours to provide an additional feeding
  • Lower the intensity of light during the hottest time - to reduce bird activity.

4. Nutritional Management

  • Avoid feeding times during hot periods of the day
  • Feed distribution at early morning (1/3) & evening time (2/3)
  • Feed type – mash /crumble - With crumble diets, presentation of large particle limestone
  • Feed should be made denser with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
  • Usage of vegetable or highly digestible protein sources
  • Formulate to digestible amino acid targets
  • Usage of Fats or oils to adjust feed energy
  • Vit. C , Vit. E and betaine
  • Feed should be denser with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals
  • Use of Maduramycin as an anticoccidials
  • Dietary electrolyte balance (molar equivalence of Na+ + K+ – Cl-) - <250 mEq/kg
  • Intellibond ZMC