5 Steps for Litter management during the Winter season

The Winter season has an incredible impact on poultry generation by bringing down the temperature of encompassing. Amid winter when the temperature goes down and different issues like a decrease in egg generation, lessening in water consumption, diminished fruitfulness and hatchability and so forth happen. Consequently, the administration of poultry amid winter is an essential sympathy toward poultry agriculturist. With drop-in mercury level and change in weather, poultry farmers may have to face some challenges of low environmental temperature, poor ventilation, these seasonal fluctuations may directly or indirectly influence egg and meat production. Therefore, the farmer must be ready to take on these challenges by adopting some winter stress alleviating practices to overcome economic losses.

I. Poultry Ventilation :

During the winter season, it is necessary to keep the hose draft-free but with plenty of ventilation. Birds release a lot of moisture in their breath and droppings which adversely affects their health if there is restricted ventilation it causes ammonia build up in the air which causes respiratory problems. So, they need plenty of fresh air circulating around the house. For the purpose sliding windows are useful as they can be opened during the day and closed during the night. There should also be an arrangement of exhaust fans to remove impure air.

II. Managing Wet Litter :

Excessive water feeding to birds may lead to wet litter.  The easy way to reduce these problems is by frequently changing litter beds with dry litter material. Another technique by which wet litter can be controlled is by using Water Absorbent.

A good decent litter material keeps the temperature of the house uniform. A good litter material acts as a support between the bird’s feathers and harmful materials. The litter has to be efficiently managed as it might get wet easily as water is coming from pipe connections, drinkers, droppings & roofs.  The heating & Ventilation has to be monitored for optimum moisture level. There is a growing concern of Bad odour in the poultry farms. This primarily happens due to wet litter. Necessary Fumigation needs to be done in order to solve the problem. Efficiently managing wet litter & ventilation solves almost half the problems that poultry farmers face in proper poultry management.

III. Water Management :

During winter season constant supply of fresh & clean water is necessary for better growth of birds. Poultry Farmers should use water sanitizers like Encivet-WT to sanitize the waterlines. In Ice falling territories, blockage of funnel is a major issue because of solidifying of water amid winter season.  Many of immunisations /prescription/anti-stress vitamins should be given to poultry through water. As water utilisation of Birds is decreased amid winter season. Thus, care ought to be taken that water intake is monitored properly.

IV. Feed Management :

Poultry uses food for two main purposes i.e., as an energy source to maintain body temperature and to carry on normal physiological activities and as building material for development of bones, flesh, feather, egg etc.
The variation in feed consumption is smaller for each degree Fahrenheit change in temperature when the weather is cold than when it is hot. Low temperature causes more feed intake and higher oxygen demand. Therefore, when the weather gets colder, it is essential to give the chicken plenty of food as they require extra energy for maintaining body temperature.

V. House Management :

Poultry House should be designed in such a way that it should provide comfort to birds during winter.  House should be designed in such a way that maximum sunlight enters the shed during day time. Birds should be protected from chilled winds. For this gunny bags should be hanged at the places from where the cold air enters. These gunny bags should be hanged down as soon as sunlight goes in the evening till the arrival of sunlight the next morning. Use of LPG operated Gas brooders is necessary to maintain the temperatures levels. The radiant gas brooders create a microclimate for the chicks so that they can choose their most comfortable place &  warmth any time.

Authored By – Hemant Bhoir

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