SALISBURY, Md. (AP) — Poultry farmers on the Delmarva peninsula say the hot weather is presenting challenges as they produce 11 million chickens a week.
Perdue Farms chicken grower Jack Lavelle of Accomac, Va., tells The Daily Times that summers are getting hotter so there is more stress on the flocks. Lavelle says he expects to spend $3,000 this month on electricity for 50,000 birds.
Because chickens don’t perspire like humans, they cool off by panting. That can expel a lot of heat and moisture that leads to other problems. They can even drown in their own moisture.
But modern chicken houses are designed to keep birds cooler. They have ventilation tunnels that work like air conditioning to keep temperatures in the 80s.
A Perdue Farms spokeswoman says there are few losses due to heat.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)