Improving Performance of Laying Hens in Hot Regions by Desert Coolers03 February 2014
Egg layers in a deep litter house fitted with desert coolers laid significantly more eggs and with a better feed conversion than birds in a control house without a cooling system, according to a recent experiment in Jordan. The net margin per bird was also higher for the birds in the cooled house.
The efficacy of desert coolers to improve thermal responses and performance of laying hens under heat stress conditions was investigated by Abdur-Rahman of the University of Jordan.
In their paper published in the International Journal of Poultry Science, they describe their study. Two identical layers houses of deep litter system providing 1,600 square centimetres of space per hen were used. The first house was equipped with a desert cooler while the other was left without control of the air temperature (the control treatment).
The researchers explain that desert coolers are an alternative to evaporative fan-pad cooling systems, being more affordable for small farmers and they use less water, thus providing optimal cooling with the minimal amount of water necessary to prevent hyperthermia in the birds.
At 32 weeks of age, 100 hens from two commercial lines (Shaver and Hyline) were housed in each house.
The average air temperature in the cooled house was 5.4°C lower (p<0.05) than in the control house.
Drinking water temperature in the cooled house was 3.4°C lower (p<0.05) than that in the control house.
Rectal temperatures of hens in the cooled house were significantly lower than that of the control.
Hens housed in the cooled house showed a significantly better feed conversion, egg production, egg weight, egg mass, eggshell thickness and eggshell density and fewer unmarketable eggs than the control hens.
Hyline showed higher (p<0.05) egg production than Shaver when ambient temperature was controlled by the desert cooler. Strain had no significant effects on egg weight and egg mass.
Abdur-Rahman, and colleagues calculated that the net income per hen in the cooled house was US$6.80 per hen compared to $4.20 per bird for the controls, which represented a net gain of $2.60 per hen more for the desert cooled hens.
Based on these results, the use of desert cooler under hot conditions is efficient and economically feasible, the Amman-based researchers concluded.
Abdur-Rahman, Al-Fataftah and Anas Abdelqader. 2013. Improving performance of laying hens in hot regions by desert colers. International Journal of Poultry Science. 12 (10):590-595.
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