At least two thousand young birds and layers were killed over the weekend following the intense heat felt countrywide. It is not an unusual occurrence as each year the dry season brings its own struggles especially for farmers. Love News spoke with Armando Cowo who heads the Belize Poultry Association. He explained the situation and says he and his team are liaising with the poultry producers.
Armando Cowo, Belize Poultry Association: “Let me say this outright. It’s a natural recurring phenomena the heat wave. The heatwaves come every year and all of us know it and we feel it and it’s most intense around this time of the year before the rainy season starts in June and the thing starts winding down. We still get some heat spells but it’s not as intense as in April going into May. So these two months really have an effect on the production of our poultry. Now what we need to understand is that what is happening here is normal, there’s nothing out of the ordinary. What might have been out of the ordinary is what people are putting out on social media without any evidence, without any data so currently I’m in Spanish Lookout I’m going around trying to get data. You know Spanish Lookout is a big farming community and they are not within ten yards of each other it’s miles and miles to cover and I haven’t gotten around to everyone so I’m trying as best as possible to collect that. It’s not something that we have a reporting system for as regards to this, with diseases it’s different we have a reporting system that they need to report to us as soon as possible but in the case of scenarios like this they don’t and I must say we must improve our reporting system after this experience; we will be asking them to do their reports to us as early as possible regardless of what is causing the mortality be it heat or mismanagement they will need to report to us that we can get a handle on a situation like this as quickly as possible.”
Cowo went on to speak on the reporting system of chicken kill within the agriculture sector. This, he says, will help in differentiating between the natural deaths and diseases. Additionally, Cowo says the kill will not result in any shortage of poultry.
Armando Cowo, Belize Poultry Association “We’re looking at the over all industry and see what impact it has so I still can’t give you a definitive number for Spanish Lookout or for the industry as a whole but we are hoping that it’s per normal. We have millions of birds in the barns right now and to be honest with you we are expecting hundreds of birds to die during this – not one day but during the whole cycle during which these intense heatwaves come down on us. Sometimes we tend to do our best but sometimes mother nature wins us at doing our best; the heatwaves come a little more intense than what we would think and those fans need to be calibrated and adjusted to put out the adequate movement of air in the barn so that they don’t suffocate in that hot hot air. As you rightly said in the beginning we are in the middle of the dry season and that’s when the heat becomes more intense it will cause mortality and it will cause more mortality yet we’re not out of the woods yet because we know especially the heat waves will come again and again until they are finally over.”