Heat stress in poultry – its impact on gut health and performance

Modern poultry breeds are more prone to heat stress than indigenous breeds due to their higher feed intake, rapid metabolic rates, increased basal metabolic heat production, fast growth, and an overall high level of productivity. In addition, poultry lack sweat glands and the skin is efficiently in-sulated by feathers, impeding heat loss.

Birds will try to adapt to heat stress by increasing their respiratory rate, i.e. panting, wing elevation, increased rectal temperatures, and reduced activity.  Birds will show a reduced feed intake and performance.

Heat stress and intestinal inflammation go hand in hand with far reaching consequences on intestinal barrier function. Heat stress clearly impairs gut integrity, thus contributing to decreased performance and enhanced risk of bacterial translocation from the intestinal lumen into the blood stream.

Find out how phytogenic feed additives can stabilize feed intake in broiler chickens under heat stress conditions and thus contribute to a sustainable broiler production. Contact us for more information!

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