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Heat Stress In Poultry

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By Stephanie Hutsko, PhD

Simply put, heat stress occurs when a bird’s core temperature is higher than its thermoneutral zone (Figure 1). A thermoneutral zone is a temperature range in which an animal does not use any additional energy to maintain its normal core body temperature. Heat stress is a result of a negative balance between the energy transfer from the bird’s body to its environment and the amount of heat energy produced by the bird. This imbalance can be caused by multiple factors such as ambient temperature, humidity, air movement, metabolism rate and thermal irradiation. Effects can range from mild distress to death.

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Interpreting The Value Of A Livestock Mineral

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Customer Favorite This article was originally published in the April 2012 Issue of the Crystal Creek® Newsletter

By Dan Leiterman

The goal of this article is to offer insight in determining the value of a livestock mineral. The value can be determined by combining the information supplied on the label and visual observation of the mineral itself, along with some basic ingredient knowledge. A critical analysis will consider ingredient quality, nutrient bioavailability and possible negative, unintended consequences associated with poor ingredient quality or inappropriate formulation techniques.

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Recognizing The Need For Disinfection In Your Poultry Operation

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By Stephanie Hutsko, PhD

Why do we need to have a disinfection plan in place when working with livestock, especially poultry? One word: pathogens.

Pathogens are bacteria or viruses that, when exposure levels are high enough, can cause disease. When bacteria are left uncontrolled, their numbers grow quickly, wreaking havoc on the birds exposed to them. A common parasite associated with poultry, Eimeria sp, can lead to coccidiosis. Common bacteria associated with poultry include Salmonella and E. coli, both of which can lead to food safety concerns. The main poultry viruses we are concerned about are Newcastle disease, Marek’s disease and Avian Influenza.

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A Poultry Success Story

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By Stephanie Hutsko, PhD

Crystal Creek® has many customer success stories, one of which belongs to an organic family farm in upstate New York. This producer started on the Crystal Creek® Poultry Program approximately three years ago and currently has 9,913 brown layers. The birds were brought in as pullets at 18 weeks of age and are housed in an unheated, open barn with 15ft peaked roofs and curtain side walls. They are allowed access to the outdoor pasture at least one day every two weeks in the winter months, as is required for his free-range market. Feeding occurs once per day, by hand, and barn walkthroughs are performed about 10 times throughout the day to monitor floor eggs and bird health. Birds are weighed weekly and feed intakes are closely monitored. There are electric lights that are used to supplement the natural daylight to give the birds at least 16 hours of light.

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Ask The Vet / Ask The Nutritionist

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

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Jack Frost Nipping At Your Beak

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By Julie Wadzinski, B.S.

When cold weather sets in, poultry need diet modifications, appropriate water access, and properly maintained litter to stay healthy, warm and productive. “Cold Stress” is a phrase not spoken enough in the poultry industry. For the backyard flocks, adding heat lamps as supplemental heat is often considered the end of the story. When it comes to managing cold stress in birds, there is more to consider. Cold impacts animals differently. For example, a cow’s rumen is a heating vat that assists in keeping her warm. Poultry do not have the same type of digestion as a cow and rely on increased calories from feed to keep warm.

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Get Your Spring Chicks Off To A Good Start

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By Julie Wadzinski, B.S.

Across the country, more and more people are discovering the joys of maintaining their own backyard chicken flock. For many backyard flock owners, knowing where their meat and eggs come from, coupled with the security and self reliance of having control of their food source is important. Even in many urban settings, city residents find that local ordinances allow for a small flock of chickens. It is not uncommon, for new people being introduced to chickens, to begin their flock by purchasing peeping chicks. When it comes to chick rearing, there are four key management areas to focus on: Temperature, Water, Feed and Lighting.

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