Nutritional Manipulation to Control Heat Stress in Poultry


What is Heat Stress?

In hot weather, birds are very much affected by the hot environmental conditions, and heat stress in poultry causes proteolysis of proteins in birds to lead to depression and less production. If birds are prone to severe tropical environmental disease, then there occurs heat stress to the bird. In the case of layers, when body heat is more than a bird, try to lose extra heat from the body. There are two types of heat stress;
  1. Acute Heat stress
  2. Chronic heat stress
Nutritional Manipulation to Control Heat Stress in Poultry

Nutritional Manipulation to Control Heat Stress in Poultry

Acute heat stress occurs in minutes and hours due to this Beta oxidation occurs in the mitochondria within 6 hours, and after it, mitochondrial membrane potential increases due to Production of reactive oxygen species which change the DNA and lower the feed efficiency. Chronic Heat stress increases the mitochondrial membrane potential. Increasing heat stress causes proteolysis FOX 3 and atrogen are induced by reactive oxygen species production.

Methods of Heat Loss in Poultry:

How does chicken release excess body heat? The following are ways to lose heat in poultry birds;
  1. Convection
  2. Evaporation
  3. Panting
          How do you tell if a chicken is overheated? Convection is a method of heat loss in which birds open their wings and the heat lost by moving from high temperature to low temperature. Air passes from the wings, and this loses the heat is the first step, followed by the bird.
          Evaporation is the second way used by the bird to reduce heat stress. Moisture in the respiratory tract is used by the bird to reduces heat stress by evaporative cooling.
       When the level of heat stress is too high, then the bird moves toward panting and in this bird respire by open mouth to reduce heat by more air exchange with the environment.
  •  In panting water lost by the body occurs
  • The body uses ATP
  • metabolism of body fast that creates extra heat in the shape of bird which also increases stress on the bird
If the humidity in the air is high, then the cooling effect by the evaporation is reduced, and evaporative cooling is more effective only when the relative humidity in the air is low.
If heat stress is not controlled by this method, then the bird shows depression and less productive.


  1. Wingspread
  2. Lethargy
  3. Panting
  4. Dullness
  5. Skin roughens
  6. Reduction in egg production
  7. Egg size decreases
  8. Eggshell quality disturb
  9. Less feed intake
  10. More water consumption
  11. Disturbance in metabolism
  12. Chances of ascites increases
  13. Fertility less in breeders
  14. Indigestibility of feed occurs
  15. Nutrient deficiency occurs


How do you reduce heat stress in chickens? Heat stress is prevented by
  • Proper ventilation decreases the chances of heat stress
  • Provide birds with plenty of water
  • Restrict the bird from sunlight.
  • Leave the bird alone in a very hot part of the day.
  • Always offer feed to birds in a cool part of the day.
  • To control heat stress offer electrolytes to birds.
Proper ventilation leads to more movement of air among birds, and also, by using COOLING PADS, one can reduce the chances of heat stress to the bird.

Nutritional Manipulation in control of heat stress in poultry

1- CoQ10

It is a coenzyme Q10 that acts as an antioxidant. it does not control the proteolysis in muscle but controls the oxidation changes in muscle.

2- Olive Oil:

Increase the available UCPs which are mitochondrial inner membrane proteins and control the heat stress.

3- Vitamin E:

Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that controls the oxidation changes in muscle but does not control the proteolysis in muscle.

4- Glutamine:

Glutamine plays a role in developing humoral immunity by decreasing IgM, IgY, and IgA.



We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Veterinary Discussions