Impact of high heat on poultry

Poultry are very sensitive to heat

  • Birds do not have sweat glands
  • The body temperature of the birds is around 41°C
  • A variation of 4°C in body temperature is lethal
  • The regulation of heat is done by perspiration, convection and increase of the exchange surface with the air (opening of the wings for example)
  • Perspiration is a costly energetically process for the bird (540 calories per gram of water in the lungs) which generates heat

For more information, refer to the literature review of the topic and watch the webinar by Dr Panagiotis Sakkas.

In addition to increase mortality rates, which have a direct impact on profits, heatstroke reduces zootechnical performance and further amplifies economic losses*:

  • 25% of Average Daily Gain (ADG)
  • 20% of feed intake
  • 3% of feed effiency
  • 26% increase in mortality

*Temperatures of 31°C for 10 hours at 35-42 days of age (Quinteiro- Filho, 2010 & Quinteiro-Filho, 2012).