The NFU is urging all poultry keepers to monitor environmental conditions within poultry buildings as part of their routine management procedures due to the hot weather forecast over the next few days.
Some areas of the UK could see temperatures rise to more than 30°C, with the Met Office issuing its first Extreme heat warning issued for the South West of England and South Wales.
Poultry vet and managing director of Avivets, William Garton, said:
“With high temperatures forecasted it is important for all poultry producers to ensure their ventilation systems are in working order.
“Producers should be aware of the early signs of heat stress which include lethargy but also open-mouth breathing, holding wings away from body and in extreme cases, weakness and death
"Birds housed with compromised ventilation might be subjected to high carbon dioxide and/or ammonia levels. Carbon dioxide levels should be kept below 3,000ppm and ammonia levels below 20ppm.
"Poultry producers should be aware of the odour of increased ammonia and ensure CO2 meters are working. Birds suffering from high CO2 levels may appear drowsy and lethargic.”