July 18, 2016

18/07/2016: How feed and nutrition can combat heat stress

Image: Hey Paul
by Zagro Technical Specialists

First published in Milling and Grain, May 2016   

Many factors contribute to stress in animals; among them are management or husbandry practices, nutrition and environment. In tropical countries, high environmental temperatures are a major stressor especially to poultry. In general, the ideal temperature for broilers to obtain an optimum body weight is around 10-22 ºC, while in layers a temperature range from 10-30 ºC is required for optimum egg production. Above this ideal temperature, chicken performances will respond negatively.

However, there are ways to control or alleviate effects of heat stress to chickens and one of this is by imposing proper nutrition and feeding in the farm.
Depressing the feed intake is one of the main causes of poor performance at high temperature. Adjusting the feeding practices such as “wet- mash feeding”, using pellet or crumble, choice feeding of calcium source and frequent feeding can help increase feed consumption. Moreover, manipulating the nutrient status of feeds can also help to reduce the effect of heat stress to poultry chickens. You can achieve this through supplementation of considerable amount of fats in the diet, which can enhance birds’ consumption.

A diet with low protein but with a balance of limiting essential amino acids is more beneficial during a hot period than a diet containing high protein. Supplementing with additional electrolytes prevents alkalosis and a drop in feed intake that is caused by heat stress. In addition, vitamin supplementation may help improve bird performance in high temperatures. Vitamin A is poorly absorbed at high temperatures whereas Vitamin E boosts animal resistance and protects cell membranes and B-vitamins boost feed intake and improve nutrient metabolism.

Hence, we can see that adjusting the chicken’s nutrient intake during hot periods is of great importance. Zagro, being committed in providing solutions to the needs of farm animals, has developed an innovative range of products that can help the animals counter the effects of stress. With the help of these products, birds can maximise their performance even under stressful conditions. These products include Zagrosol AD3E, Zagrosol Aminogen, Zagrosol Minpro, Amilyte and Nilstress.

Read the full article in Milling and Grain HERE.  

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine GFMT
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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