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Limit the impact of heat stress on poultry welfare and performance

Are you preparing your building to face high temperatures? What is the impact of your efforts? 

In early May, Meteo France published its seasonal forecast for the summer of 2021. In May, June and July, average temperatures will be higher than normal, with drier conditions. To prevent heat stroke from affecting the well-being and growth of animals, several measures are recommended by livestock professionals, such as fogging, changing the feed, adapting and adjusting the buildings, etc. 

To be effective, these solutions must be anticipated before heat stroke occurs. It is necessary to verify their effectiveness and to practice their use.

Seasonal forecast 2021 by Météo France

How to identify thermal discomfort in poultry?

Chickens, especially at the end of their flock, are sensitive to temperature increases. They feed less, are more sensitive to pathogens and are in a situation of discomfort. This has a strong impact on their well-being and productivity. 

Thermal discomfort can be detected by observing the behavior of the animals such as increased presence at the nozzle, behavioral problems (pecking, aggressiveness), search for cold areas, limited movement and spreading of the wings. 

Extract of an image taken by the Peek, representing in red the most occupied areas of the building (here water and feed).

Thermal discomfort is also detected by monitoring certain parameters such as water consumption, temperature, humidity, air speed, etc. 

These parameters can be observed by the farmer during his visits to the building, but also by digital solutions that will follow the behavior of the animals and the atmosphere of the building continuously, without disturbing the animals (Peek box, ventilation systems, etc.).

Supervision of the farm to see the impact of my actions on the comfort of the animals

There are many ways to limit the impact of heatstroke on the animals: misting ramps, ventilation, modification of the building). They require, among other things, a good knowledge of the building and the management of the environment. 

Concretely, with the Peek box proposed by Copeeks, one can observe continuously and remotely the distribution of the birds in the space (spread out or crowded), and the presence at the pipettes and feeders. The Peek also analyzes the atmosphere of the breeding building (temperature and humidity inside and outside, NH3, CO2) and collects the data of water consumption. 

Copeeks has been working for more than a year on a poultry farm supervision offer (lien blog article) with Tell Elevage, a company with a strong expertise in farm equipment and zootechnics.

The poultry farm supervision approach

The supervision service starts with a technical diagnosis of the building by Tell Elevage, highlighting the weak points or things to be modified. Then the Copeeks supervision system is installed in the farm. All the measured data are transmitted and modeled on a platform available to all users. Then, a daily report of the data analysis and of the different weak points is made in order to improve the results and to help the farmer in the management of his thermal comfort or of these other problems.

This interactive and dynamic system makes it possible to identify and target potential problems, to isolate them, and to correct them thanks to the experts’ know-how.

To learn more about supervision, download the Poultry Farm Supervision sheet