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December 23, 2009   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
December 23, 2009

AUBURN, Ala. -- As temperatures plummet, poultry growers must keep a closer watch on ventilation for moisture control and air quality, according to Poultry Engineering, Economics & Management, the newsletter of the National Poultry Technology Center at Auburn University.

"If we don't keep up with a proper ventilation schedule, things can seem to get out of control very quickly. The house may seem dry enough today, but almost overnight turns slick and wet," read the article titled Ten Steps to Drier Houses and Good Paw Quality.

According to authors Jim Donald, Jess Campbell, Gene Simpson and Ken Macklin, the underlying cause for that "sudden" change is actually due to inadequate ventilation over a five- to seven-day period.

To combat the problem, the authors offer 10 steps to drier houses. Included among those are:

-- Run heating and ventilation to keep house air relative humidity at 70 percent or lower in cold weather. Get a relative humidity (RH) meter and use it.

-- Check air inlet openings and static pressure. Failure to do this results in poor air mixing.

-- Check the house for cracks and air leaks. Since cold air falls and warm air rises, cold air coming in through a crack or around a curtain will drop straight to the floor. Stop up all cracks. This reduces sweating and litter caking and improves the bird environment.

-- Take a hard look at tunnel fans. Even the best shutters don't seal perfectly. In very cold weather, installing bonnets or plastic over shutters that are not in use is a must. Otherwise, cold air hits the warm floors and causes condensation and caking.

For more tips and information, contact Jess Campbell at the NPTC at (334) 844-3546 or download the newsletter below.

Download Newsletter Here

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