Minimising the effects of summer heat on egg laying flocks
House temperatures above 950F result in physiologic changes in egg laying hens, reducing reproductive performance. Also, the higher the cage density the greater the risk of heat stress.
Heat stress in birds can lead to decreased feed intake, higher water intake, increased respiratory rates (panting), diarrhea (flushing), and decreased activity. These responses result in lower egg production, smaller egg weights, respiratory alkalosis which reduces the blood's ability to transport calcium resulting in losses of shell quality, reduced bone strength, and birds from hypocalcemia (calcium tetany), and decreased immune function.
To minimise these effects, feeding strategies, lighting, ventilation practices, water intake, backup generators, emergency measures, and adding Diamond V Original XPC to the feed at 1.5 lbs per tonne as the foundation for the hot weather program are recommended.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Eric Gingerich and Diamond V.