33.8 C
May 27, 2024

Livestock Farmer Laments Extreme Heat Wave 

Akindele Akinola, a livestock farmer in Omi-Ido area of Ibadan, Oyo state, has decried losing 30 broilers in his farm as a result of the stress from too much heat.

The farmer who has been feeding his family with the proceeds from his poultry business for the past three years started facing a challenge recently that overwhelmed his years of experience.

He said: “On a particular day, the heat was too much and, in the evening, we lost some of our chickens. After we lost them, we immediately knew that it was the stress from the heat that caused it,” he said.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) had earlier in the year predicted a prolonged heat wave across the country. The agency said that air temperature in the north is at 41°C and 39°Cover the south, indicating a significant increase in temperatures. 

Vincent Weli, NiMet’s director of weather forecast services, highlighted the potential dangers of prolonged exposure to the extreme heat. He emphasised the need for immediate action, suggesting a state of emergency could help mitigate the risks.

Speaking on the current situation in the livestock industry, Nwachukwu Okechukwu, a veterinary doctor, highlighted some of the measures that farmers can adopt in managing heat stress and protecting their livestock during the heatwave saying that when the temperature is high, livestock farmers usually record high mortality rates. 

Okechukwu said the hot weather affects not only the quantity of eggs produced but also the quality. 

“Farmers can sprinkle water on the birds, use supplements known as anti-stress to reduce the effects of the heat on the birds and add ice cubes to the water’

“Also, while erecting the building for poultry, the height of the building, the level of the blocks, and the spacing are all to be considered so that during the heatwave, the livestock won’t be really affected. It is wrong to have the poultry pen close to the fence. If the pen doesn’t have enough space and there is no ventilation, then the birds will be affected even more”. He said.

To manage heat stress in livestock, experts said house design is also crucial and ensuring cross ventilation in the pens is important. It is beneficial to position the pens in an east-west direction to minimise exposure to direct sunlight. The roof should be high enough to allow for proper airflow because dwarf walls can release more heat. It is also essential to avoid overcrowding the birds in a pen.

Meanwhile, heatwave is a prolonged period of excessive hot weather, typically with high temperatures and often accompanied by high humidity. Heatwaves can be dangerous and have various impacts on human and animal health, agriculture, and the environment. 

Heatwaves can be caused by a variety of factors, including high-pressure systems, stagnant air masses, and the influence of climate patterns like El Niño.

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