Are Birds Cooler at Night When the Lights Go Out?

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Date: 
2015
Volume: 
28
Number: 
3
Tip Category: 
Hot weather management

One of the biggest challenges in growing large broilers is keeping them cool during hot weather.  Whereas with a four-pound broiler producers have to worry about the possibility of their bird getting too hot for a few days at the end of a summer flock, when growing a 7 lb.+ broiler, heat stress can be a potential issue for two to three weeks at a time.  Growers’ efforts in combating heat stress are typically concentrated in the daylight hours, especially during the afternoon when temperatures are at their highest.  Fans are checked to make sure they are all operating and are well maintained so that the highest possible air speed is produced over the birds.  The evaporative cooling pads are examined to insure they are throughly wetted so that the incoming air temperature can be kept as low as possible and if it is really hot, interior fogging nozzles may be used to keep birds comfortable.

One common concern that producers often have during hot weather is that the broilers appear to be sitting for long periods of time during the heat of the day.  This of course is of concern because if a bird is sitting it is not eating and drinking which would result in a reduction in bird performance.  Of equal, if not of greater, concern is that when a bird sits heat could build up under the bird, causing the bird’s body temperature to rise, possibly leading to an increase in mortality.  Though  the build up of heat under a bird during hot weather is of real concern, the fact of the matter is that producers should be more wary about it at night than during the day....