High summer temperatures in poultry breeding

High ambient temperatures raising significantly above 30°C or a lack of shady places for hiding away from direct sunlight are common problems for egg laying chickens in smaller farming operations. The body temperature of poultry is generally around 41 degrees and egg laying chickens tolerate summer temperatures well in shade with ample access of fresh air. However, what can be done to provide these conditions?

Successful breeding is conditional on:

  • Airy housing and full shade for the chicken coop.
  • Shady places in the paddock for the chickens to hide - trees or other vegetation
  • Fresh drinking water replaced regularly 2 to 3 times a day.
  • Lighter fodder without excessive fats. If moist fodder is given to the poultry, it should be eaten within a short time (loose mixtures are ideal) to prevent the fodder from fermenting.
  • Suitable substrate for dust bathing.

Light egg laying poultry (araucanas, brown leghorns, leghorns or hybrid breeds and breeds on the same base) is the least sensitive to high summer temperatures. Heavier and meat-producing fattened poultry has greater difficulties tolerating high temperatures. If global warming is to continue, we may have to switch to breeding guineafowls.