Broilers – Sustain performance even in hot conditions
Heat stress is responsible for large economic losses in the world’s poultry industry each year. Broiler production in hot conditions is currently a major challenge in many regions and is forecasted to become more widespread in the future. The projected change in global average temperature is likely to be around 0.3 °C to 0.7 °C, for the period 2016–2035, relative to the reference period 1986–2005. Consequently, there will be more frequent hot extreme temperature episodes globally; even in places where normally temperatures are milder (FAO, 2015). Heat stress costs the industry billions of US dollars in terms of loss of productivity and implementation of control strategies – a situation that seems to be worsening.
Heat Stress: What does it Mean?
Scientists have described heat stress as the result of “a negative balance between the net amount of energy flowing from the animal’s body to its surrounding environment and the amount of heat energy produced by the animal” (1).