With meat chickens (broilers) protection from the elements not only means sun and rain, but also a place of refuge during hot weather.
Conventional fast growing broiler strains suffer increased mortality rates during periods of hot weather, due to the excessive muscling and fat they carry around their breast and body cavity, particularly if their body weight exceeds approximately 1.5 kg. It is obvious therefore, that the pastured chicken farmer using conventional broiler strains must be extra vigilant, and any structure that houses their meat birds should ideally be able to keep the temperature below 300C, not an easy task with our hot summers in most parts of Australia.
It is worth noting that the intensive chicken industry aim to maintain a temperature between 21-240C inside their sheds. These producers rely on state of the art technology to maintain these temperatures, and modern broiler sheds are quite complex in their environmental management systems.