The Poultry Bulletin - - TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT -

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.

Re­duc­ing noise

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.¡

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