Heat stress and poultry production: impact and amelioration

G. D. Vandana, V. Sejian, A. M. Lees, P. Pragna, M. V. Silpa, Shane K. Maloney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Globally, the poultry industry is gaining significant importance among the agricultural and its allied sectors. However, heat stress was found to negatively affect the poultry production particularly in the tropical regions. This review is therefore an attempt to generate information pertaining to the impacts of heat stress on poultry production and its amelioration. Heat stress reduces the growth, reproductive performance, and egg production in poultry birds. The reduction in productive potential of poultry birds on exposure to heat stress may be attributed to the deviation of energy resources from production to adaptation pathway. There are different approaches pertaining to relieving the adverse impacts of heat stress on poultry production. These approaches can be broadly categorized under genetic, management, and nutritional strategies. These approaches may reduce the negative effects of heat stress and enhance the productive performance of poultry birds. The management strategies include appropriate shelter design, providing shade, using sprinklers, implementing cooling devices, and using fans and ventilation systems. The recommended floor space for mature birds weighing 1.7 kg is 0.06 m2/bird while it is 0.13 m2/bird for the birds weighing 3.5 kg with 27.8 kg/m2 bird density in either case. The nutritional interventions comprise ration balancing and providing essential micronutrients to improve the productive and reproductive performance in poultry birds. Fat, antioxidants, yeast, and electrolyte supplementations are some of the most commonly used nutritional strategies to ensure optimum production in the poultry industry. Furthermore, providing adequate water supply and disease surveillance measures may help to ensure optimum meat and egg production in the birds. The advanced biotechnological tools may aid to identify suitable genetic markers in poultry birds which might help in developing new strains of higher thermo-tolerance by designing suitable breeding program involving marker-assisted selection. These strategies may help to optimize and sustain poultry production in the changing climate scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-179
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Issue number2
Early online date6 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


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