Hot chickens need cool water
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CTA. 1992. Hot chickens need cool water. Spore 38. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45721
In hot weather chickens succumb to heat exhaustion, which very often leads to death. But an Israeli poultry farmer has found an easy solution to the problem: give the chickens cool water to drink. A chicken has a normal body temperature of 39°C....
In hot weather chickens succumb to heat exhaustion, which very often leads to death. But an Israeli poultry farmer has found an easy solution to the problem: give the chickens cool water to drink. A chicken has a normal body temperature of 39°C. It maintains this temperature partly by drinking water. However, the Israeli poultry farmer noticed that when the weather was hot the chickens actually drank less, and he suspected that the chickens were put off drinking because the water was too warm. Even using air-conditioning in the shed made no difference. So he started to cool the water, and immediately the chickens resumed their normal drinking habits and fewer chickens died from heat exhaustion. The farmer has now developed a means by which water can be kept between 20°C and 25°C all the year round. The system has now been tested by the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture. They found deaths from heat exhaustion dropped from 12% to 10%. There were other beneficial effects as well: egg production rose by 10%; the egg laying period was prolonged by a week and the number of broken eggs was halved because the shells were harder. It seems that the bird is able to absorb more calcium when it is drinking enough water. Division of Poultry Science, Agricultural Research Organization The Volcani Centre, Bet Dagan, ISRAEL