With the temperatures finally creeping up, you will be aware of the devastating consequences should your birds overheat.
Whilst you can do all you can to prevent heat stress in your birds (through assessing summer stocking levels, have ventilation plans in place and the consideration of conditions during transportation), a sudden hot spell of weather, combined with high levels of humidity, can quickly cause issues for your birds and can directly affect all performance measures. Increased water loss, blood alkalosis and hormone imbalances can impact welfare with birds showing lethargy – a tendency to sit down and put their wings out away from their bodies and pant as they try and lose heat through circulatory and respiratory systems. If temperatures rise to a critical limit of 4°C above the bird’s core body temperature of 41°C, the bird will die.
Aside of the contingency plans you have in place regarding a ventilation strategy and cooling the birds in an emergency, you can use an oral preparation to minimise physiological damage. Poultry Pharm Heat Stress Plus is a complementary liquid supplement containing electrolytes, energy, antioxidants and specialist ingredients to reduce the effects of high ambient temperatures on performance in broilers and layers. Vitamin C supports the bird’s ability to thermo-regulate and electrolytes maintain salt balance and prevent dehydration. Betaine helps to maintain hydration and gut health. As birds do not move much during high temperatures, energy has been included to sustain them and antioxidants, to work on immune function. This supports the integrity of the gut, keeping digestion and nutrient absorption on track through predicted and emergency situations of high temperatures. Poultry Pharm Heat Stress Plus costs £5.77 per 1000 litres of diluted product. It is sold in 5 litre containers at £28.84 plus VAT.
Dilute 1ml in 1 litre (1 litre per 1000 litres) of clean drinking water prior to, during and immediately post internal temperature fluctuations above 25°C. At temperatures above 30°C, use at 1.5 ml in 1 litre, 1.5 litre per 1000 litres of clean drinking water. Administer strategically following a weather warning or during obvious increases in internal environmental temperatures above 25°C. This product can be used as part of standard management practice in preparation for heat stress. Acclimatisation of the birds is a key attribute to help manage summer stress. At chick placement, use for the first 2-3 days. Use for 3-5 days during periods of dehydration due to excessive water loss. Use for 2-3 days prior to temperature increase above 25°C.
For more information about Heat Stress Plus contact your vet, or to order contact Dispensary on 01392 872930.