Nutrition and management of heat-stressed pullets and laying hens
D. Balnavea1 and J. Brake a1 c1
a1 Department of Poultry Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7608, USA
Article author query
Maximum daily temperatures in excess of 30°C are common in many table egg-producing regions of the world. Such temperatures require the application of specialized management and nutrition if laying hens are to produce eggs near their genetic potential. Environmentally-modified buildings have been shown to be especially advantageous for commercial layers that are housed in high density cage facilities. Directing air movement onto floor-housed birds has also been found to maximize heat loss and was beneficial as long as the air temperature did not exceed body temperature. This latter procedure was especially useful where sporadic incidences of heat stress were common.
Nutritional manipulation of the diet also offers advantages, especially in overcoming problems of reduced appetite. This principle has been shown to apply to both growing pullets and adult layers. Recent research has confirmed that optimum production during lay depends on the adult hen having an adequate gut capacity and sufficient nutrition during rearing. Egg production during moderate heat stress can be improved by increasing the intake of protein relative to energy but energy requirements will likely increase in severe heat stress. Dietary supplementation with ascorbic acid and vitamin E and a supply of cool drinking water have also been reported to improve production during lay but the response to the latter treatment varied with genotype.
(Received January 12 2005)
(Accepted January 23 2005)
Key Words: heat stress; growing pullets; laying hens; heat loss; dietary manipulation
c1 *Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
I found the article above while swagbucking info on the effects of heat on egg production. We started the layers on ice water, they all just stand around their "water cooler" now, lol. I will try the higher protein feed next, funny story about that. I spoke with 2 of the ladies I bought chickens from and they both said they were using the higher protein feed because they have a mix of babies and adults and so it is easier just to buy one feed. I read another article that said not to use the higher protein stuff but given how hot the days have been I think my girl will need the extra boost of energy if I plan on getting any eggs. I'll keep you posted.
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