Poultry farmers are being urged to check the temperature of their broiler sheds to avoid a loss of production with ‘UK temperatures on the rise’.
According to ventilation, heating and controls specialist Hydor, there has been a ‘spike’ in reports of high temperatures in broiler sheds across the UK, due in part to outdated or faulty ventilation equipment.
“Soaring temperatures can prove a challenge to stock,” said Hydor Managing Director, Duncan Burl, adding that overheating in chickens has been linked to a loss of productivity and, in extreme cases, death.
“We’ve already had a significant number of calls come from farmers looking to upgrade their ventilation systems in light of the extreme heat seen in June and early July.
“For chickens an increase in body temperature of just 4°C can result in fatalities, with birds requiring approximately five days to acclimatise to high temperatures, according to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).”
To help producers identify the beginnings of heat stress in chickens Hydor has outlined the following key warning signs:
- Avoidance of other birds
- Raised wings, used to increase the exposure of skin
- Panting, which increases as the heat rises
- Reduced feed intake
- Increased water consumption