Treatment of chicks piling


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Treatment of Chicks piling treatment is a very easy task if you knew the physiologic events. Chicken or chicks piling is the common fact in broiler especially in the winter season. In this article, we discussed environmental and managemental piling in chicken.

Every year millions of poultry chicks are died within the first weeks due to piling or huddling. Farmers, poultry producers, and veterinarians hurry up to solve it. There are no pharmacologic, homeopathy, ayurvedic medicine that are not available in the world. In every winter season. these facts persist and lots of chicks struggle to alive in the poultry shed. In the Open shed system, where temperature and ventilation control are not control compared to commercial business. In some countries, it is called ‘winter huddling‘ This article was written for small scale farmers who became suddenly faces this problem.

Background of the Treatment

First, we discover the piling found in the chicken? There are many reasons to occur piling of poultry. For instance, Chicks transport in a van, lorry, cargo without a controlling temperature in the winter, Insufficient space and temperature. Also, high ammonia inside the poultry flock.

Chicksphysiology on temperature

The normal temperature of chicken is 105-107 °F (40.55- 41.66 °C). It is called the internal temperature of the chicken. That means, chicken try to match internal temperature with external temperature or external temperature and perform a normal function. Internal temperature is produced by the conversion of energy produced from the intake feed. In a simple word, feed combustion by the physiologic process, then produce energy and finally produce heat. Therefore, heat is the main factor to create piling in chicken.

Why chicken do piling?

Normally, Piling occurs in the winter season where external temperature getting low. It depends on the country to country but in the case of South Asian countries, it lies always under 10 °C. if the temperature getting low under 10 °C, the internal temperature can not maintain this externally and peripheral nerves mostly sensitized to cold. That why chicks need extra energy to handle this situation.

In this way, chicks became extensively busy to produce extra heat by the piling or huddling. For this reason, they became forget to eat and drink and undergo severe hyperthermia. Excess mortality occurs due to crawling one by one in small places.

Besides, this etiological agent, some infectious agents are also responsible for handling such as Newcastle disease, Avian influenza.  IBH, Emeria acervulina. But, it as available in mature birds but not in chicks.

Common clinical symptoms

  • Excessive friction between chicks to chicks or chicken to chicken.
  • Severe nerve stimulation cause insomnia, less heat increment, etc.
  • day-old chickens sleeping on top of each other
  • Up to one-week chickens suffocating each other
  • Excessive Indigestion is seen in the litter
  • Intestinal coccidiosis

See Also- The best drugs for the intestinal coccidiosis in poultry

Principle of the treatment

The main principle of treatment of chicks or chicken piling is to produce heat inside the body of chicken by providing higher energy sources and reducing nerve activity. Some good energy sources are sugar, liquid sugar and glycerol which are available in every corner of the world. For decreasing, nervous stimulation salbutamol is the best which helps to vasodilation thus provide excess heat to extremity if the body.

Sugar Juice

sugar is a natural product which is consists of carbohydrates and energy. As a thumb rule, we need to provide extra energy inside the child’s body. This extra energy help to prevent piling during night and day. Sugar is the cheapest, convenient and available in any place. One gram contains 4 calories.

When the sugar crystal boiled, increase sugar concentration and rise of the temperature. This is the principle to use sugar to prevent hurdling in poultry.

Amount of sugar need 

According to my trial on various age groups, I have been obtained the results following the listed sugar. As a thumb rule, 1gm sugar/chicks/day-age enough to control piling in chicks.

For better understand, we can assume farmers have 1000 birds. The amount of sugar is given as follows

Age of the birds ( Days)Amount of sugar ( Kg)

As winter hurdling is encounter first 7 days, this amount of sugar sufficient to control piling. The amount of sugar should be given once daily before the evening.

Prepare sugar Juice

Firstly, take a sufficient amount of sugar from the upper list. Then mixed. With 2-liter drinking water. Next, this solution is heated for at least 10 minutes. Make sure water and sugar should be turned as rigid nature. When sugar and water mixed properly heating should be stopped.

How to provide sugar juice

After reaching room temperature, the sugar juice provides to chicks with 5-10 liter fresh drinking water. Probably hurdling of chicks occurred at night. But, the juice should be supplied before the evening. it is the best time that you can start feeding the juice after 3 pm.

Before supplying, chicks should be starved at least 30 minutes. If you would feed all the solutions before the evening, there is more energy generated by the physical process inside the body. Thereby, chicks getting more energy and do not pile together. This process should maintain at 3 days.


Honey is a good source of carbohydrates and energy. There are three types of carbohydrates available in honey. For instance, sugar, fructose, and levulose. Among them, sugar is the predominant source of the honey which is present at least 99% as solid materials.

Other constituents are acid, mineral, and vitamin. Normally it produces in a beehive which is found in the commercial bee farms and forest, bushes naturally.

Honey has some unique characteristics high viscosity, “stickiness,” high density, granulation tendencies, tendency to absorb moisture from the. It is available as a liquid sugar which combined with glycerol in pharmaceuticals drugs. 


It is defined as a transparent, colorless, glue-like substance that originated from sugar and considered as alcoholic family. It is used as a sweetener in the pharma industry.  According to Yale University suggests that heavy drinking may actually accelerate the body’s ability to turn alcohol into energy-boosting acetate, especially in the brain. Therefore, It contains also sugar which builds up the energy in the animal body.

Liquid sugar plus Glycerol

In humans, it is used for the relief of irritating, tickling dry coughs and sore throats. It also assists in the removal of productive cough. But, we can use it as a heat producer inside the body of chicks and chicken. the pharmacological composition is

 Each 5 ml Linctus contains

Glycerol BP 0.75 ml

Liquid sugar (67.5%) BP 1.93 ml  

Dose in chicks

According to field trial on 1000 broiler chicks, it is given at 1-5ml/birds in the first week (01-7 days) on the basis of severity of the piling in chicks. the doses are sufficient for broiler and layer chicks and chicken. If the higher than one week’s dose should be increased as double in fresh drinking water morning and evening.


The purpose of using Salbutamol to reduce nervous stimulation on cold and increased vasodilation. which promotes increased blood supply which carries excess energy-containing heat. By reducing nervous activity, chicks must be depressed due to salbutamol has sleep-inducing properties. If we can initiate sleeping behavior in chicks or chicken, piling should be stopped within an hour.

Dose and application

According to field trial, salbutamol should apply  by the following way for better result

Age of Chicks (Days)The dose of salbutamol (ml)

the same frequency rises in the same ways according to chicks ages.

For instance, if you have 1000 broiler chicks on day 04. You need at least 2.5*1000= 2500 ml salbutamol/day. the total amount of salbutamol can be divided into three doses are 833.33ml in mornig+ 833.33ml after noon+ 833.33ml before evening.

It should be noted that The salbutamol should be fed before night. Because night huddling or piling severe mortality. If we fed all the solution before night, the salbutamol activates inside the body chicks or chicken. therefore there is a possibility to rise to the pile when it will be functioning.

Promethazine HCL

Promethazine Hydrochloride has a sedating properties which can easily stop nervous excitability and induce sleepiness in chicks. Initial dose starting from 1-2mg/ chicks and continue up to 48 hours with other drugs. It is showing tremendous result compared others if farmers properly fed to chicks by the repeated stiring.

Promethazine HCL is available as a Bolus which contain 150 mg/ bolus and in injections form. But, I just the farmers using bolus form which is easily soluble in water compared to injection.

Chicks Piling in the winter season

I have been starting thses technique since 2015 and saving million of chicks still now especially in the winter season. Despite all the causes, it can be helpful to grab the condition. There is no drugs or management procedure stop piling if the birds feeling hypothermic internally and externally. All the provide samples details can be used any types of drugs like antibiotucs and others.

Ramzan, DVM, Poultry Veterinarian

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