Heat stress in poultry impacts negatively on a wide range of production aspects. Heat stressed birds grow more slowly, produce fewer eggs, and have a higher rate of disease - all of which reduce farm productivity. Heat stress has been implicated in reduced bird fertility, immune suppression, recurrent digestive disorders, and high oxidative stress states. At Kemin, we know that effectively managing the impact of heat stress is crucial to running a successful poultry business.
Poultry do not have sweat glands, making thermoregulation when exposed to heat stress quite complex. This problem has been further exacerbated by improvements in poultry genetics. Birds now grow faster and have higher metabolic rates. As a result, the birds produce more body heat making them increasingly prone to heat stress. Increased ambient temperatures as one of the most immediate and obvious effects of global warming, along with higher stocking densities, also contribute strongly to the frequent occurrence of heat stress.