Keep feed intake during hot weather high with Aeroforte®

Every farmer recognizes it, pigs who have problems maintaining their feed intake during a hot summer day. A decrease in feed intake has a direct relationship with poor results. What is causing that pigs often reduce feed intake during high temperatures, and what can be done about it?

Thermoneutral or Comfort zone

During hot periods, it is not only people who experience problems with the heat, animals do too. An animal has a minimum and maximum temperature at which it can keep its body temperature constant and at which feed intake is maximised and feed conversion is optimal.

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This is called the thermoneutral zone. The thermoneutral zone of a broiler, laying hen or dam is between 18-25 °C, 18-35 °C and 18-24 °C respectively, depending on age, breed and humidity. However, when temperatures rise, especially in combination with high humidity, animals are no longer able to maintain their body temperature. This has negative consequences for their health and production. This principle applies to all animals. However, poultry is very sensitive to heat stress. The adverse effects of heat stress on broilers, layers and dams range from reduced feed intake and increased water intake to a reduction in technical results; reduced growth, reduced egg production and quality.

Physiological aspects of heat stress

When temperatures in poultry houses rise, there is a decrease in feed intake, protein digestion and fertility and an increase in metabolic disorders. It’s also known that heat stress increases the antimicrobial resistance of E.coli, resulting in E.coli problems. All these effects of heat stress together make sure that desired technical results cannot be reached. Figure 1 shows the relation between feed intake and temperature for broilers at 42 days of life.

When ambient temperatures rise above the thermo neutral zone, water intake increases and feed intake drops. Providing supplements in the drinking water is an effective way to reach the animals when they need support. Furthermore menthol stimulates the oral mucosa sensory cold receptors, reducing the negative feeling of heat stress.

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Cooling effect of menthol

The skin of every mammal is packed with cold and warmth thermo receptors. The receptors are free nerve endings without a specific end organ. Menthol is stimulating these cold receptors and gives the animal a cooler feeling. The body temperature of the animals is not reduced by this but the heat stress is less. Pigs can handle a high temperature better when the cold thermo receptors are triggered by menthol.

Aeroforte

Especially for these problems Kanters developed Aeroforte®. The ingredients peppermint, menthol and eucalyptus has a cooling effect which supports the feed intake and keep the technical results at a good level. The product can be easily fogged in the house by using a spray installation or a pressure sprayer. Alternatively Aeroforte® can be applied through the drinking water. Aeroforte® is easy to use and it supports the feed intake during hot weather.

If you have any questions about Aeroforte®  please contact us by phone +31-499 425 600 or send an e-mail to mailto:info@kanters.nl

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