Technology can be overwhelming. We already talk about drones and robots in poultry production, of controlling poultry house temperature or ventilation via cell phone or iPad, and even of creating algorithms of the movements of the birds observed by cameras to determine their health. But let's not lose sight of basics.
In a recent conference at the Latin American Poultry Congress in Guadalajara,Mexico, Mário Penz wondered how many of our farms have a water consumption, temperature and quality meters.
As for the temperature, Penz said that it is still discussed whether chickens should be given cold water or not. Maybe, says Penz, we should ask the chickens, because for each degree of temperature increase after 25 degrees Celcius, chickens reduce water consumption by 7 percent. However, let us remember that chickens eat feed, because they drink water.
So, why do few people worry about that? Feed silos and water tanks in farms are exposed to an atrocious environment. Not to mention the hot temperatures of almost all of Latin America. Carlos López Coello told me that he had never seen a single feed silo (nor a single water tank, I would say) in farms with protection against environmental conditions, or against the sun.
There is no need for electronic technology, no touch screens or Wifi connections. It is simply a roof to protect the water (as well as the feed) from the sun rays when temperatures reach up to 40°C (104ºF) in the outdoors and internally perhaps more.
Even well-designed waterers to provide birds with the perfect amount of water, more robust water nipples with a uniform flow to maintain a drier floor with less ammonia, or adding that little extra supplements to water, will not perform well to avoid heat stress if the water is hot.
Maybe we just need a roof over the tank. Let's not let the water continue being the neglected nutrient (and element). What do you think?