Hot Topic: Help Your Hens Stay Cool This Summer & Avoid Heat Stress

Heat stress is one of the most important environmental stressors challenging poultry worldwide. It is caused by a combination of higher than ideal ambient temperature and humidity. Hens have a specific range in temperature and humidity where they can comfortably maintain body temperature without experiencing heat stress. If the temperature goes above this range, hens are less able to cope with body cooling, and heat stress occurs.

 Heat stress can be deadly if not caught in time, and since we’re now in the heat of summer it’s important to keep a close eye on your flock for any signs of heat stress.

What are the symptoms of heat stress?

Production efficiency at day 30
Broiler performance at day 30

Chickens don't have sweat glands, so there are limits to a chicken's ability to regulate its body temperature. However, there are plenty of things you can do to give them a helping hand.

How you can help:

  • Make sure your chickens have access to a clean, cool water supply.
  • Make sure your hens have an easily accessible shaded area in their enclosure to help them escape the heat.

  • Children aren’t the only ones who might appreciate a paddling pool this summer! Why not try a shallow wading pool to allow your hens to relieve themselves from the heat.

  • Don't overcrowd your flock. Your birds need space to move away from the body heat of others.

  • Feed during the cooler times of the day, such as early morning or evening. Digestion generates heat and hens will be less likely to eat during the hotter parts of the day.

  • A well-ventilated coop will help keep your hens from overheating. Try installing a fan in the coop to run during the day so the coop isn't so hot when chickens go to roost in the evening and consider keeping a window opened slightly during the night (make sure to use a screen or window guard to protect against predators).

  • Frozen treats are a good way to help your flock keep cool. Try freezing different treats for your birds like strawberries, peas, watermelon, grapes, mint or chopped greens. You can freeze whole fruits, like watermelon, to let them pick at it throughout the day, or try freezing smaller pieces in ice cube trays.

How we can help:

Anpario offers 100% natural high quality oregano essential oil additives in their Orego-Stim® range, containing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties

Key Benefits:

  • Optimises the hens natural defences, to offer support during higher bacterial challenges which commonly occurs in a warm humid environment.
  • Has been shown to maintain appetite, support hen growth and feed efficiency under heat stress conditions.

  • Helps support nutrient absorption, aiding poultry digestive health.

  • Promotes gut health, drier droppings & cleaner eggs.

How to use:

Add to fresh drinking water at 1.5ml per 10 litres of water.

For best results, use continuously.

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