Poultry International - July 2018 - 28
28 ❙ PoultryInternational
Orest Lyzhechka, Dreamstime.com
Holistic approach to feeding
A quick guide to help adjust feeding programs for broilers to
withstand summer heat stress.
Broilers have a short life span, and every day of
potential growth lost is a day of potential profit lost.
There is nothing like summer heat stress to depress
growth potential in all growing animals, and even
more so in rapid-growing ones, like broilers. Birds
under heat stress simply refuse to eat because the process of eating, digesting and metabolizing feed and
nutrients generates heat - and they are obviously trying to reduce their discomfort by avoiding an internal
heat source. The following guidelines can be useful in
adjusting feeding programs to help broilers suffer less
from summer heat stress.
■ Adjust feeding management. It might be beneficial
to limit access to feeders during times of intense
heat, especially when the region is suffering from
an unusual heat wave. Perhaps this is not ideal from
a growth point of view, but mortality spikes will
be avoided - especially among the largest birds.
In addition, making sure the water is not exposed
to unnecessary sunlight may alleviate some extra
discomfort. Providing cool water directly from an
underground well can be the ideal solution to ease
summer heat stress, but even a simple shade over a
water tank can reduce water temperature by a few
degrees. Finally, switching from meal to pellets can
help increase nutrient ingestion as birds will not fill
up so fast as with meal. This is not a real solution,
but it might help to increase nutrient uptake during
cooler periods when birds start eating again.
■ Adjust feed formulations. There are three areas
that require attention: energy, protein and fiber.
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ July 2018