Hot days can be torture for chickens and turkeys. When temperatures rise, the animals suffer from heat stress, which in the worst case can even lead to death. Find out everything you need to know about heat stress in poultry:

  • Symptoms of heat stress: how to recognize that your chickens or turkeys are suffering from heat
  • Causes of heat stress: Which factors promote temperature stress in poultry
  • Effects of heat stress: What negative consequences heat stress can have on the health and productivity of your animals
  • Immediate measures for heat stress: What you can do to help your animals during acute periods of heat
  • Preventing heat stress: long-term measures to protect your chickens and turkeys from heat

With the right knowledge and precautions, you can keep your animals healthy and productive even on hot days.

Symptoms of Heat Stress

You can recognize that your chickens or turkeys are suffering from heat stress by the following symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite: Chickens and turkeys eat less when they are suffering from heat.
  • Increased drinking: To compensate for the loss of fluids through panting, the animals drink more.
  • Increased panting: By panting, the animals try to cool their bodies through evaporation.
  • Fatigue: The animals appear lethargic and apathetic.
  • Search for shade: The animals instinctively look for cool places in the coop or run.

Causes of Heat Stress

There are various factors that can promote heat stress in poultry:

  • High temperatures and high humidity: the higher the ambient temperature and humidity, the faster chickens and turkeys suffer from heat stress.
  • Lack of air circulation: If the air in the coop or run does not circulate sufficiently, the animals cannot release heat.
  • Direct sunlight: Chickens and turkeys that are exposed to direct sunlight suffer from heat stress more quickly.
  • Feeding errors: Fatty feed can increase the heat production of the animals and thus contribute to heat stress.
  • Diseases: Sick animals are more susceptible to heat stress.

Effects of Heat Stress

Heat stress can have negative effects on the health and productivity of chickens and turkeys:

  • Reduced feed intake: chickens and turkeys eat less when they are suffering from heat, which can lead to weight loss and impaired performance.
  • Reduced laying performance: Chickens lay fewer eggs when they suffer from heat stress.
  • Poorer meat quality: The meat of chickens and turkeys that have suffered from heat stress is often of inferior quality and has a lower water content.
  • Increased susceptibility to disease: Heat stress weakens the animals’ immune system and makes them more susceptible to disease.
  • Organ failure: In severe cases, heat stress can lead to organ failure and death.

Immediate Measures in the Event of Heat Stress

If you notice signs of heat stress in your chickens or turkeys, you should take the following measures immediately:

  • Provide sufficient shady areas: ensure that the animals have access to shady areas in the coop and run at all times.
  • Offer fresh water enriched with oregano oil: Provide the animals with plenty of fresh water and renew it several times a day. Also enrich the drinking water with DOSTO® Liquid, a feed supplement made from purely natural oregano oil.
  • Cool the animals with water: You can spray the animals with water using a garden hose or a watering can.
  • Mist the hutch: By misting the hutch, you can lower the humidity and thus cool the animals.
  • Reduce the amount of food: Feed the animals less, but more often during the day.
  • Avoid stressful situations: Avoid transporting or moving animals during hot spells.

Prevention of Heat Stress

You can prevent heat stress in your chickens and turkeys with the following measures:

  • Ensure adequate ventilation: make sure the coop is well ventilated and air can circulate.
  • Build a shaded area: Build a shaded area in the run that is large enough to accommodate all the animals.
  • Plant trees and shrubs: Trees and shrubs provide shade and ensure a cooler climate in the run.
  • Use light colors: Use light colors for the hutch and equipment, as these absorb less sunlight.
  • Choose a heat-resistant breed: There are chicken and turkey breeds that are more heat-resistant than others.
  • Adjust the feeding: During periods of heat, feed the animals with feed that has a lower fat content and give them additional support by administering DOSTO® Liquid via their drinking water.
  • Monitor the animals: Keep a close eye on your animals during hot spells and look out for signs of heat stress.


Heat stress is a serious problem that can have fatal consequences for chickens and turkeys. However, with the right knowledge and the right precautions, you can keep your animals healthy and productive even on hot days.

DOSTO® Liquid can be used to support your chickens and turkeys during periods of heat stress:

Discover DOSTO® Liquid