How Broiler Chickens Respond to Cold Water (Ice)
How Broiler chickens respond to cold water in hot weather is very similar to the craving that you and I have for a chilled drink after a long walk under the sun. Compared to other chicken types, the likeness for cold water is very dramatic in meat birds, popularly referred to as broilers. Broilers are known to consume a lot of water and feed throughout their lifespan, which is relatively shorter than that of the egg type chicken (layers).
The Obvious Reason
The science behind this craving is the need to maintain body temperature. This activity places a lot of demand on the meat-making machine called broiler. Anyone who has successfully raised broilers to maturity can tell of their remarkable growth rate. A broiler’s growth is almost visible on a daily basis. This is due to the ability of this chicken type to convert the large quantity of feed eaten to meat. Still referring to the bird as a meat-making machine, it is only logical to conclude that a lot of heat must be generated in the process of feed conversion. If you already have access to a broiler, you can place your hand under its wings and see how hot it is.
Here’s How to Keep Broilers Cool
Having established that a broiler’s body temperature is relatively hot, let’s consider ways to help them cool down. Heat is a very important factor to consider when planning the kind of housing to use for your broiler chickens. Whether you are going into commercial production of broiler chickens or you simply need a backyard setting, housing is key. The kind of housing to provide for broilers must make room for good ventilation. Also important is the amount of shade that you provide around the broiler cage. Sufficient shade keeps your chickens cool and encourages them to eat more. Keep in mind, the more they eat, the more they grow, and the better your result.
Most importantly, never place your chickens’ water trough under the sun. If you cannot provide shade for anything, it should not be their water.
Is it Weird to give your broiler cold water or Ice?
When it comes to keeping your broilers’ body temperature cool during hot weather, you cannot possibly “overdo.” In addition to providing shade for their water, you can also give them cold water in the hot afternoon. Simply add ice to their bowl of water. If you have a nipple drinker system for your broiler, with an easily accessible bucket, you can add the ice to the bucket of water. This will ensure that the water remains cool during extremely hot periods.
Feeding plays a very important role in the survival and growth of any animal, and chickens are no exception. A thirsty chicken will naturally not show interest in the feed you provide. Also, warm water is not suitable for a broiler’s already warm body. Hence, the need to always serve cool fresh water to enhance good metabolism and prevent heat stress.
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