Ludhiana:With drop in mercury level and change in weather from warm to cold, poultry farmers may have to face some challenges of low environmental temperature, poor ventilation and decreased photoperiod.
The information was shared by Dr A L Saini HOD, Livestock production and Management, GADVASU. He said that these seasonal fluctuations may directly or indirectly influence the egg and meat production. Therefore, farmers must be ready to take on these challenges by adopting some winter stress alleviating practices to overcome economic losses.
To protect birds from cold, gunny bags or plastic sheet curtains can be installed on the side walls of shed. However, don’t restrict ventilation in an attempt to conserve warmth. Good ventilation in the chicken shed is must, because chickens naturally produce a lot of moisture in their breath and droppings.
Poor ventilation inside their house may create an ammonia build-up which will affect their eyes, respiratory system and make them sick. Poultry birds need plenty of fresh air circulating in and around the poultry shed, so care should be taken not to cover entire side wall but ensure sufficient open area towards the ceiling of shed to facilitate escape of foul air. To provide warm and cozy environment, increase in the depth of litter material (bedding) by six inch. Free access to balanced diet and fresh water must be available to chickens of all age.
Dr Saini revealed some tips regarding winter stress alleviating management, He said that before arrival of chicks, preheat the brooder room for a day to 95oF, install curtains on side wall of chicken houses without restricting ventilation, increase the depth of litter material (bedding) and maintain minimum ‘daylight’ of sixteen hour by light bulb for egg producers.
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