Farm animals and heat stress

26 August 2016

It’s been a hot couple of days here in Western Europe and the forecast suggests that the weekend will be warm as well. While that may mean that we can enjoy the summer at the beach or a swimming pool for humans, for farm animals these are often tough times. Heat stress is a real challenge to animal production professionals.

Heat stress in animals causes a shift in blood pH that suppresses feed intake. Of course this is bad news for the animal’s performance. In extreme situations animals start to drink more water which leads to wet litter and an increased loss of electrolytes. Also the animal starts panting to lose heat by means of increased evaporation. This results in respiratory alkalosis and therefore a change in the acid-base balance of the blood. A shift in blood pH suppresses feed intake and therefore affects performance in a negative way.

During periods of heat stress birds will deplete electrolytes very fast. Therefore, it is a good idea to provide birds with electrolytes (such as sodium) in the drinking water or feed. Sodium formate has proven to be the best additive to increase the feeds sodium levels to improve the dietary Electrolyte Balance (dEB). This is due to the fact that it is also an antimicrobial and does not raise gastric pH which maintains feed digestibility.

ProPhorce™ AC 299 is Perstorp's brand of sodium formate with excellent free flowing characteristics. Read more below:

ProPhorce™ AC 299>>

Trial: sodium formate for heat stressed layers>>

Heat stress and performance; a matter of balance>>

Heat stress: does common practice make common sense?>>


Cecilia Svensson
Cecilia Svensson
Vice President Communications
+46 40 635 88 30
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