Fans keep Delaware poultry alive

DELAWARE - In the old days, sweltering heat and near 100 degree temperatures like Monday's saw poultry farmers counting dead chickens.

Today, most farmers in Delaware have high-tech chicken houses that keep their chickens cool.

"Twenty years ago we tried to survive hot weather," said Sam Slabaugh, who raises 90,000 chickens in Delmar. "Now our objective is to maintain an atmosphere that the chicken continues to thrive and perform."

Chickens are particularly vulnerable to heat-induced stress because they don't have sweat glands. The only way they can cool off is by panting. The bigger birds are more at risk because they are heavier and have more feathers that insulate them. Chicks prefer warmer temperatures, but they too can get uncomfortable quickly if it gets too hot.

Source: Delaware online
calendar icon 18 July 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
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