The positive impacts of increasing ventilation during feeding in broiler breeders

Keeping hens cool reduces stress-related illness and mortality
calendar icon 1 February 2022
clock icon 1 minute read

Modern broiler breeders have an amazing ability to convert feed nutrients for growth and egg production. Post-feed consumption, a hen’s body temperature increases rapidly (heat increment of digestion). Hens on slats post-feeding have been observed to be in some level of heat stress. Consequences of overheated hens include a decrease in feed intake or increase in feed cleanup time (delaying egg gathering pattern), decreased production, eggshell quality decline, and mortality. Any signs of heat stress should be addressed immediately.

A fan program, which is used to remove the metabolic heat, must be adjusted seasonally. Keep in mind that all fans are usually running in the summer by default. However, during the other seasons, additional fans should be used during feeding and throughout production. This program of increased ventilation post-feeding is most effective in the fall, spring, and winter. In the summer, there is usually adequate air speed.

Kevin Odenbach

Technical Service Advisor in North America at Cobb-Vantress
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