22 Sep 2021

Chick body temperature: from hatch to farm



AUTHOR

Juan Carlos López

Content available in: العربية (Arabic)

When checking the chick body temperature at hatch time, it should be taken into account that there are three physiological systems of chicks that are not fully developed: digestive, immune and body temperature regulation.

 

Upon hatching, the birds are poikilothermic animals: their body temperature will rise or fall depending on the outside temperature, requiring a metabolic effort by the birds. It will take around 4 days for chicks from adult flocks and 5 to 6 days for birds from young flocks for the thermoregulatory system to behave homeothermically – constant body temperature.

chicks transport

It is postulated that birds from younger flocks present a different composition of lipids in their yolk, this being the factor that makes them need more time to go completely from poikilothermic to homeothermic.

Comfort zone of chick body temperature

There is a range of chick body temperature known as the comfort zone, where the birds are comfortable with the temperature that surrounds them:

transport day-old chicks

The best way to “find” the comfort zone is to measure the birds’ cloacal temperature.

broilers incubation

If the cloacal temperature is above or below this range, adjustments should be made to the ambient temperature.

Where to measure the cloacal temperature?

This information will help us adjust the temperature and ventilation of the hatcher according to the flock of birds that are currently inside the machine.production broilers

If the birds’ temperature is above 40.5 ° C (105 ° F) and the machine’s cooling system does not allow the temperature to be lowered further, the birds must be removed and they must be housed in a room where they find their area of comfort.
chicks transport
What happens with chick body temperature after processing or service?

During sexing, vaccination or in beak or spur treatments, the temperature of the birds will drop to ranges of 38.3 – 38.9 ºC (101-102 ° F).

Particular care should be taken with birds after being exposed to spray vaccines, as their temperature can drop greatly if the drop is not correct. At the end of these operations, in the waiting room to be loaded in the truck, the birds must recover their body temperature between 39.5 – 40.5 ºC (103-105 ° F). transfer day-old chicks

During transportation

Upon arrival at your farm’s destination, as the birds are being lowered from the truck, the temperature of the birds inside the boxes should be monitored.

Preferably, the temperature of birds from different parts of the truck should be monitored, particularly when it is a large truck.

In the farm

In addition to the correct air temperature of the house, it is important that the floor is acclimatized before the birds arrive. hatching chicksThe photo shows how the birds are distributed in a receiving ring depending on the soil temperature.

Note: not only the low temperature but also the high temperature will make the birds not look for food and water. They will survive two or three days because of the nutrients they have in the yolk sac, but they will eventually die.hatching chicksIf the birds decide not to drink and eat as a result of a very adverse environmental situation, necropsy will show signs of:
  • Emaciation and dehydration, kidney inflammation
  • Ureters distended with urates
  • Increased gallbladder size and distention with bile
  • Darkened and dehydrated muscles, especially the pecs which lose their fleshy appearance

production alterations broilersIn conclusion:

The body temperature of our birds depends entirely on how we handle them for the first days. As the birds are out of their comfort zone 39.5–40.5 ºC at cloaca level (103-105 ° F) they will make metabolic adjustments that generate energy expenditure.

The energy expenditure associated with different metabolic adjustments will be reflected in low weight gain, poor dietary conversion and unevenness in uniformity. If the heat stress situation is strong and prolonged, the birds will stop drinking and eating to a point that death will occur.

 



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