stunted growth, higher blood pressure, stress and fatigue. Noisy ventilation fans and operational machines found at slaughterhouses have also been shown to increase plasma corticosteroids, cholesterol and total protein. Other studies show that noise levels pass the 85db level leads to a decreased feed intake of between 15% and 25%.
As lower feed intake stunts chicken growth - something the poultry producer needs to avoid, it is clear there are many reasons why control of noise pollution near the chickens is beneficial.
There are a number of ways to reduce noise to acceptable and healthier levels that will lead to healthier chickens both psychologically and physically.
When setting up your chicken houses, establish these in a quiet area, preferably well away from and industrial areas or transport routes where noise levels are likely to be consistent and high.
It is important to identify the sources of noise pollution equipment; a sound-measuring tool can help if needed. Erect sound barrier secondary glazing in windows.
When buying equipment such as fans and feeders, make sure that these are as quiet as possible. Regular maintenance is essential for equipment to make sure these remain within acceptable noise levels, and avoid any repairs especially at night.
Muffle noisy equipment. Investigate ‘active noise control’- a noise cancellation anti-noise system that produces sound waves of the same amplitude as the noise pollution but in opposite polarity causing a cancelling of the noise pollution.
Train staff and any others that come into close proximity to the birds, making them aware of the negative effect of noise on poultry. Think - and be still Reducing noise is all about common sense and respect. Respect the fact that chickens are living beings that need the same kind of environment that people do - including a good night’s sleep and some peace and quiet during the day. Reducing noise itself is about common sense too. It’s about identifying the sources of noise pollution equipment and muffling and shielding poultry from the noise. Lastly, teach your workers to respect the chickens ‘sleeping hours’ tiptoe around the birds; it will pay off in a healthier bottom line.¡