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Poultry Farming : Expert Says, Improper care may affect Poultry Farming in Summer

Summer is a challenging season to poultry farming. For the hot summer months there are many precautions which need to be taken right from the onset of rising temperature. Poultry birds do not have sweat glands and have thick cover of feathers. During summer months the birds consume less feed and more water due to which their growth rate, egg production, egg shell quality and hatchability are all adversely affected and mortality is high.

Disease incidence in the flocks also increases because of wet litter, immune-suppression, vaccination failures and contamination of drinking water. There should be a grass cover on the grounds surrounding the poultry house which will reduce the reflection of sunlight into the house. Vegetation should be kept trimmed to avoid blocking of air movement and to help in reducing rodent problems.

Shady trees should be located where they do not restrict air movement. Keep a reliable, clean, cool source of water available to help the birds cope with high temperatures. The number of waterers and frequency of watering should be increased in summer months. In case of nipple drinkers, frequent check of nipples should be monitored.

While purchasing new stock the time of purchase should be adjusted in such a way that the productive stage should not come during acute summer months. Before the onset of summer season the unproductive and weak birds should be removed and stocking density should be reduced. Feeding should be done during early morning and late evening improves micro environment of shed. Feed withdrawal from 9 am to 4.30 pm 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 after feed consumption. Preventive treatment through drinking water should be given. In moderate hot weather, Ascorbic acid, Acetylsalicylic acid, Sodium bi carbonate and Potassium chloride can be given in drinking water to maintain electrolyte balance.