Proper poultry care in summer yields good results: GADVASU expert
During summer season birds’ nutrient intake should be increasedUpdated: Jul 04, 2020 00:51 IST
Summer is a challenging season for poultry farming therefore many precautions need to be taken right from the onset of rising temperatures. This was stated by APS Sethi, head of animal nutrition department, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU).
He said that poultry birds do not have sweat glands and have a thick cover of feathers. During summer months they consume less feed and more water due to which their growth rate, egg production, eggshell quality, and hatchability are all adversely affected and their mortality rate is high.
Disease incidence in the flocks also increases because of wet litter, immune-suppression, vaccination failures, and contamination of drinking water, he added.
Sethi said that there should be a grass cover on the grounds surrounding the poultry house which will reduce the reflection of sunlight into the house and vegetation should be kept trimmed to avoid blocking air movement and to help in reducing rodent problems.
He said, “Keep a reliable, clean, cool source of water available to help the birds cope with high temperatures. As the birds excrete electrolytes during periods of heat stress, electrolytes can be added to the drinking water. In the case of nipple drinkers, frequent checks of nipples should be monitored.”
During summer season nutrient intake by the birds should be increased and part of the energy should be supplied through fats and oils, he added.
“Feeding should be done early in the morning and late in the evening. Feed withdrawal from 9am to 4.30pm is very effective in reducing heat stress mortality. Feed intake and digestion produce nearly 7% additional heat in the body and is maximum after 4 to 5 hours of consumption. This should not coincide with the hottest part of the day (2 to 3pm),” the expert said.
Sethi said that the crude protein level in the feed should not be increased and preferably vegetable protein sources should be used.
Egg collection frequency at the farm should be increased and the cold room should be available for egg storage in hot summer months, he added.