Poultry, Knowledge Hub, Webinar Series

5 Best Management Practices in Poultry Farming During Cold Weather

Previous slide
Next slide

Table of Contents

There are 5 best management practices that are vital for improved productivity in poultry farming during cold weather. This is because the environment for rearing and maintaining poultry is a major factor that affects productivity.
With an increase in relative humidity and reduction in temperature during the rainy season, the success of a poultry business is threatened by a range of changes experienced in birds. Some of the changes include the following;

Reduction in Egg Production

Daylight stimulates egg production in laying birds as they need sunlight for their endocrine systems to secrete egg-laying hormones. And during the cold season, the amount of daylight is greatly reduced. So, if layers are not getting enough light, the hormones are not released and egg-laying may drop as a result.

Also, moulting occurs during the cold season, and as layers shed their old feathers for new ones to grow, they typically stop laying and use this period to build their nutrient requirement. This is because a lot of the energy in their bodies is used to regrow feathers and less energy is available for egg production.

Disease Outbreak

Extreme cold and rainy conditions trigger various pathogenic and parasitic diseases which can result in heavy losses in poultry production. Birds become stressed and this affects their production and ability to withstand diseases.

The ages of the birds also play a role as different age groups have unique requirements and abilities to survive the weather changes. Birds under two months of age and those over six months of age are more susceptible to infectious diseases.

Common disease symptoms during this season include respiratory distress, nervousness, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, ruffled feathers, swollen face and prostration. These observable symptoms may be associated with several diseases such as Gumboro, Fowl Pox, Fowl Cholera, E.coli and Salmonella, which are prevalent during the cold season.

Changes in Feeding Pattern

The variation in feed consumption is similar for each change in temperature but more prevalent when the weather is cold than when it is hot.

Low temperature causes more feed intake and higher oxygen demand. Also, the reduction in daylight during cold season greatly affects the feeding pattern of birds. This is because they tend to perform fewer activities and cuddle together to generate heat within to keep them warm and maintain a certain energy level.

Hence, they consume more feed to satisfy their energy requirement and perform their metabolic activities.

Reduction in Fertility and Hatchability

There is a comparatively much greater reduction in hatchability and fertility in the cold season when compared with the hot season. This may be attributed to the fact that during extreme cold there is much more difficult to continuously maintain the hatcher and setter temperature with the precision capable in another season.

Chicks hatched in rainy season usually have more mortality that dry or hot season. The comparatively higher mortality in chicks hatched during the rainy season can be attributed to the fact that there was difficulty in maintaining the appropriate brooding condition continuously due to low temperature especially during night hour.

Hence, to get better production from poultry such as chickens, turkeys, duck, quails and geese during cold or rainy periods, poultry farmers have to adhere strictly to the 5 best management practices in poultry farming.

Best Management Practices in Poultry Farming During Cold Weather

best management practices in poultry

Housing Management

Design the poultry house in such a way that it provides all the comfort required by birds during the cold season with proper ventilation. In regions where it rains heavily, you should raise the floor with a generous roof overhanging, particularly over the entrance to prevent rainwater from getting into the pen whenever it rains.

The raised floor can be a solid platform of the earth to prevent floods. Install electric brooders or heater in the pen to serve as a secondary source of heat for the birds. This would help the birds drink enough water and stay warm without getting the reserved energy used up in the process.

Also, provide fluorescent light to mimic daylight to sustain egg production level.

Feed Management

Since birds increase their level of feed intake to generate heat and stay warm during the cold season, add energy-rich sources like oil/fat should to their diet or reduce the level of other nutrients to keep the energy at the same level.

This will help reduce cost and avoid wastage. Because as birds take more feed with energy, other nutrients which they don’t need become a waste.

Therefore, when the weather gets colder, it is essential to give the birds a high energy feed. This is because they require extra energy for maintaining body temperature during this period.

Water Management


During the cold season, birds take less water. For the maintenance of water in the body, a continuous supply of freshwater to the birds is necessary.

Provide birds with warm water periodically to encourage consumption. Warm water also helps them keep warm without using up energy reserved in the process.

Litter Management

You should cover the floor surface of the poultry pen with a bedding material called litter. Litter gives comfort to the birds.

A good quality litter serves as insulation in maintaining uniform temperature, also absorbs moisture and promotes drying. It dilutes faecal material, thus reducing contact effects of the ground and provokes protection cushion between birds and floor.

You need around 6 inches of litter in housing during cold weather. If litter management is proper, it will feel warm when taken in the hand.


best management practices in poultry
Book for your day-old chicks and get a free vaccination schedule

Vaccinate birds at the right time. Administer a broad-spectrum antibiotic to the birds routinely to boost the immune system of the birds. Also, it is important to deworm poultry birds bi-monthly with effective dewormers such as piperazine. They help manage parasitic infestation from intestinal worms that might result from drinking from ground rainy water.

In conclusion, poultry farmers need adequate preparation during the rainy season when it comes to improving productivity on the farm. Hence, to maintain a reasonable yield, poultry farmers have to adopt these 5 best management practices.



14 thoughts on “5 Best Management Practices in Poultry Farming During Cold Weather

  1. Anugwolu Joseph okechukwu says:

    Thanks for this important information, it had inrichec my knowledge of managing my poultry.

  2. Adeoye says:

    This is informative thanks for the post

    1. Yinusa Sumah says:

      Thanks a lot for the enlightenment.

  3. Yusuf says:

    Good morning,
    Please what is the price of day old layers brown zertch band.

    1. Hello Yusuf,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      In response to your enquiry, the current price of Zartech day-old layers (pullets) is ₦20,500.00

      Kindly place your order via the link:

      You can also reach out to us via any of these channels;
      Call: (+234) 809 409 1115
      WhatsApp: (234) 808 280 8271

      Thank you for choosing Afrimash.

  4. Samuel Akpan says:

    This is very informative and useful, please keep it up.

    1. Hello Samuel,

      Thank you for the feedback.

      To learn more about poultry farming, join our online training on Poultry Farming for Beginners

      Date: 22nd to 24th March 2021
      Time: 7 pm daily
      Registration Fee: N10,500

      – One-month mentorship after training
      – Access To Vaccination Schedule
      – Discount On Some Poultry Equipment

      How to Register:
      Make your payment to the account details below:
      Bank Name: UBA Plc
      Account Number: 2129087920
      Send your proof of payment to [email protected]

      Thank you for choosing Afrimash

  5. GODWIN says:

    How much is the latest price of boiler birds

    1. Hello Godwin,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      We have a variety of brands and breeds of broilers and the current prices per carton of 50 chicks are as follows:
      Arbor Acres Plus Broilers Chicks (Grinphield Brand): ₦14,750.00
      Agrited Ross 308 Broilers: ₦16,500.00
      ZARTECH Broilers (Cobb 500): ₦15,000.00

      To view all and to place an order now, kindly click the link below:

      You can also reach out to us via any of these channels:
      Call: (+234) 809 409 1115
      WhatsApp: (234) 808 280 8271

      We look forward to your order.

  6. Istifanus Obadiah says:

    Very informative and understand,

  7. Joseph Sekyi says:

    About the litter; since one must put in at least inches of litter how often must one change it?

    1. Hello Joseph,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      Litter should be changed weekly

      To learn more about poultry farming, kindly click the link below to get our ebooks:
      You can also contact us on 08094091115

  8. Pelekelo Nyambe says:

    about litter management, how many types or methods are there? and what is the best or preferable method?

  9. Bamidele Busari says:

    Thanks for these great information as it help me understand why my layers are not producing well this season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping cart
Sign in

No account yet?

0 Wishlist
0 items Cart
My account

Get ₦5000 Off Your First Order!

Get your discount sent to your email.
Don’t miss out on this one-time offer!