Summer Management in Broiler Chicken

Siddiqui MFMF1 & Shaikh SR2*

Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine

College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, MAFSU, Parbhani, Maharashtra, India – 431402

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine

*2 PhD Scholar, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine (Corresponding Author)

Summer management of birds is important as heat stress causes adverse effects on the performance, the welfare and productivity of broiler farming. Ideal temperature for successful broiler rearing is 18-28 °C and above 30 °C temperature heat stress starts. Following are the steps of summer management of broiler chicken:

A) Housing management:

  • House should have good insulation with support of foggers and cooler systems.
  • Increased air movement over the birds by cooler, fan/exhaust to produce wind chill effects which cool birds even without drop in the house temperature.
  • Shed design and construction should not allow direct sunlight inside the house.
  • Thatching of roof with paddy straw or sugarcane leaves will reduce temperature inside the shed.
  • The roof should be painted with white wash to reflect light.
  • Plantation of tall branched trees around the sheds can reduce the radiant heat.

B) Water management:

  • Supply of plenty of clean & cold water
  • Use water sanitizer in drinking water to control infection.
  • Cover water tanks with wet gunny bags to avoid direct exposure to sun.
  • Increase frequency of watering.
  • Cover water pipeline with wet gunny cloths.

C) Feeding management:

  • Offer feed during cooler part of the day (early morning and evening) only.
  • Feed supplements like vitamin C, E, B2, B6, B12 and trace minerals should be given.
  • 20- 30% extra vitamins and trace minerals should be added to feed.
  • Addition of ammonium chloride, potassium chloride and sodium bicarbonate improve performance of broilers birds.
  • Pelleted feed should be given.

D) General management:

  • Depth of litter should be 2-3 inch on floor. Stir the litter regularly to prevent caking.
  • 10% extra floor space should be provided in summer.
  • Overcrowding of birds must be avoided.
  • Shifting, transportation, debeaking and vaccination should be done during cool hours only.
  • Birds severely heat stressed may be dipped in cold water for 2-3 minutes keeping their head & neck above water level.
  • Use foggers in shed reduce the shed temperature up to 5-10°C.
  • The house should be situated away from other buildings in order to facilitate free movement of air.

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