Britain has already experienced record-breaking hot weather over the last couple of months even registering warmer than Portugal, Spain and the south of France in some parts.
Now forecasters are predicting that the UK is set to have a Ā spell of warm weather as early as mid May. This news is always a welcome announcement to UK residents but it comes with a warning for broiler farmers.
The hot weather can have a severe impact on poultry performance and production efficiency can be affected long before the temperature reaches a critical level at which bird survival becomes a concern.
Heat stress starts whenever a bird has difficulty controlling body temperature and birds that are not acclimatised to a sudden change to warm ambient conditions are more likely to suffer from heat stress than summer reared flocks.
When a bird begins to pant heavily, physiological changes have already begun within its body to expel excess heat. Even before the bird reaches this point, anything that you do to help birds remain comfortable will help maintain optimum growth rates.
This includes checking hot weather gable fans are fully functional. These fans are typically covered up for a long periods of time over the winter period and require running to check the drive belts havenāt perished and that the fans are fully functional. In addition to this, it is also worth opening the air inlets to ensure none are sticking, and that the hot weather deflectors are correctly set up.
UK weather is notably unpredictable, so itās absolutely vital to monitor the weather forecasts and be prepared as possible. For more information on preparing your broiler farm for adverse temperatures, please refer to the Defra Heatstress booklet (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69373/pb10543-heat-stress-050330.pdf) or contact us directly.