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Strategies for preventing heat stress in poultry

  • H. Lin (a1), H.C. Jiao (a1), J. Buyse (a2) and E. Decuypere (a2)

Their higher production performance and feed conversion efficiency make today's chickens more susceptible to heat stress than ever before. The increasing proportion of poultry production in tropical and subtropical regions makes it necessary to reconsider the long-term selection strategy of today's commercial breeding programmes. Also, the importance of the potential use of Naked neck and Frizzle genes is accentuated. Nutritional strategies aimed to alleviate the negative effects of heat stress by maintaining feed intake, electrolytic and water balance or by supplementing micronutrients such as Vitamins and minerals to satisfy the special needs during heat stress have been proven advantageous. To enhance the birds' thermotolerance by early heat conditioning or feed restriction seems to be one of the most promising management methods in enhancing the heat resistance of broiler chickens in the short run.

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