Global weather phenomena that cause the prolonged rainy season or La Nina require farmers to have risk mitigation strategies to anticipate these threats. This was conveyed by Muhammad Iqbal Alim, Coordinator of Poultry and Various Livestock, Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health after the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) provided early warning information for vigilance against the arrival of La Nina which has occurred since September 2021 and is predicted to last until April 2022.
Iqbal said that the occurrence of the La Nina phenomenon had an impact on the threat of decreasing chicken productivity. The presence of high rainfall will cause the chicken coop environment to fluctuate and high humidity, triggering chickens to be susceptible to disease and stunted growth. High rainfall will also cause cold temperature stress which affects the increase in feed conversion (FCR).
In the end, the respiratory tract will also be disrupted due to the high water content in the air. And the litter is easy to clump which will be a source of pathogenic microbes. "Another disadvantage is that the brooding period becomes longer and even a heater has to be added. As a result, it will increase production costs,” he said while attending an online webinar some time ago.
He continued, water sources polluted by pathogenic bacteria are the impact of high rainfall due to enlarged soil pores. This condition can reduce the quality of drinking water. This was followed by an increase in organic particles and heavy metals and a decrease in the solubility of drugs and vaccines in chickens.
"Another effect is that the transportation and logistics of feed will be hampered and even have the potential to cause a high reactive feed moisture content of more than 14%, reducing the quality of chicken feed. Especially DKI Jakarta with high rainfall will be prone to flooding which will hamper the transportation of livestock products," he explained.
As a broiler breeder around Bogor, Sugeng Wahyudi emphasizes the need to anticipate the La Nina phenomenon properly, especially to maintain the health of chickens so that they are not susceptible to disease and are able to reduce production costs. "This means that the output produced is able to compete with other products," he said.
He said human resources (HR) supported by quality livestock production facilities (sapronak) are the main keys in broiler cultivation, especially when there are external challenges such as La Nina. "With a short broiler raising period, carefulness is needed when preparing sapronak and operating it during the raising period," he said.
Sugeng underlined, there will be difficulties for chicken farmers who still use an open house (open cage) compared to using a closed house (closed cage). Nevertheless, he conveyed that optimizing the temperature and humidity along with opening the screen/curtain will provide comfort for the growth of chickens for farmers who use open houses. "It will also minimize the threat of disease and La Nina. Therefore, the regulation of temperature and humidity becomes the main thing, whether it is a closed house or an open house in response to climate change and La Nina, considering that the financial capabilities of different breeders,“ he added.
Meanwhile, a medical veterinarian of Livestock Research Center of Ciawi Bogor, Triwardhani Cahyaningsih added that the La Nina attack for chicken farmers can be overcome by taking protection in the form of tightening biosecurity, accompanied by a complete vaccination program. La Nina, according to her, increases the potential for disease attacks caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites. "So the key is strict biosecurity," he added.