Heat Stress Remedial Measures For Poultry
The first major heat stress day of risk for our poultry flocks this summer is upon us today, Sunday December 20, 2015, and the immediate steps you can take, to reduce the risk, and to relieve birds in distress are:
*Make sure that all warm water from the previous day is replaced with fresh clean, cool water. Drop ice cubes in the bucket and dispensers, to help the fresh water stay cooler for longer.
*Ensure that the water is placed in the shade. Check every few hours and top up with more ice, or fresh cool water, as required.
*Do not over feed with excess grain, meal or mash in hot weather. No more than 90 grams of grain per bird, daily, in really hot weather above 35 C, but supply as many cool fresh greens as you can, at daybreak, and in the evening.
*Slice watermelon pieces and freeze on trays for the fowls. Feed out as soon as birds begin to look heat stressed.
*Ensure that nest boxes are kept in the shade at all times, as egg lay is a major extra stress for birds when already in a heat stress zone. Use panels of corflute or plywood as emergency shade shelter, or rig up sheets of shadecloth, or shade sail, to shield the nesting box area from the sun.
*Spray a finer mist of water in the air upwind of poultry in the yards so that the wind blowing through the mist is chilled and then helps cool the flock downwind of the birds. Do not spray the birds themselves. Also spray arcs of misted water over and above the roofs of poultry pens - where the birds are inside - to cool the space within.