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My Layers Were Producing Well, But Are Not Producing Now –

What Is The Problem?” – Eggless in Ohio

 As you might expect there is a long list of reasons why this might happen. However, the most common theme that results in a decrease in egg production is stress. Stress is defined in medical terms as, “Any physical, physiological or psychological force that disturbs equilibrium…..includes agents that upset homeostasis, such as infection, injury, disease, internal organ pressures or … strain.”1

Heat Stress Challenges Bird Health And Production  

As the temperature rises, so does the stress on the birds. Heat stress in poultry begins at approximately 74°F and affects different production parameters incrementally as the heat goes up. For example:

Egg Weight:

Egg weight drops by 0.4% for each 1.8°F from 74°F to 80°F

From 80.6°F on up egg weight drops by 0.8% for each 1.8°F over 80.6°F

Growth Rate:

Growth rate starts to drop at 75.2°F

Feed Conversion Rate:

Is minimal at 82.4°F

Rate of Lay:

Rate of lay starts to drop at 86°F

Physical Signs:

Birds begin to show physiological signs of heat stress starting at 82.4°F, i.e. wings hang loosely, peripheral blood flow increases

Feed Crystal Pellets To Stressed Birds

It is important to help birds stay on feed and support digestive function so the diet can be utilized well during stressful conditions. Add Crystal Pellets™ to the birds ration at an inclusion rate of 10 to 25 lb./ton. Some layer barns add Crystal Pellets™ at a 10 lb./ton rate all year because they find economic benefits in better bird health and production. Other flocks with higher challenges, such as  early indications of respiratory issues will add Crystal Pellets™ at 15 lb./ton to help keep birds on feed. During times of severe stress challenges, some producers may even add 20 to 25 lb./ton temporarily and then cut back to 10 lb./ton as needed. Crystal Pellets™ are a great tool to have when birds are challenged and need to stay on feed, whether it is due to heat stress, moving, crowding, cold weather, or predators. If you have poultry, you will be glad you have Crystal Pellets™ in your tool kit.

By Dan Leiterman, President and CEO Crystal Creek®

  1. Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 19th Edition.

Please submit your animal health or nutrition questions in writing to:

Crystal Creek®

Ask the Vet / Nutritionist

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Spooner, WI  54801