POULTRY NEWSLETTER OFFERS VENTILATION TIPS
AUBURN, Ala. -- With several recent days nearing or topping the 100-degree mark, Alabama poultry producers are advised to take a new look at the way their poultry houses are ventilated.
"One old rule of thumb said, 'Do not tunnel ventilate birds until they are 21 days old,' but experience has taught us that if we understand the basic principles of bird heat transfer when using tunnel ventilation and apply these principles correctly, tunnel can be a very valuable tool to make any age bird comfortable," according to a report in the August issue of Poultry Engineering, Economics & Management, a newsletter from the National Poultry Technology Center at Auburn University.
According to authors Jim Donald, Jess Campbell, Berry Lott and Gene Simpson, growers whose poultry houses are properly designed and maintained are much better equipped to endure the brutally hot weather recently experienced in the poultry belt.
"Tunnel ventilation technology has matured and been used in the U.S. poultry belt for about 25 years," reads the report. "Most growers and managers have a pretty good feel of how to manage tunnel houses as birds get bigger. However, many growers and managers are less sure of how to keep small younger birds comfortable in extremely hot weather."
The 21-day rule of thumb was intended to keep producers from doing more harm than good with tunnel ventilation on young birds, but properly managed tunnel ventilation can help make any age bird more comfortable.
The bottom line, the authors report, is this: "Birds that are not kept comfortable at the beginning of a growout will not get off to a good start. Flocks that do not start well typically do not finish well."
For more information, visit PoultryHouse.com.