poultry houses

Preparing Your Poultry Houses for Winter

Winter is right around the corner which means your fuel bill is about to rise. Today, the costs of propane and natural gas are low; however, it is important to know fuel will account for one third of your operating costs per year. Below are some easy ways to keep your poultry houses cost down, keep your birds performing, and ultimately provide you with a better flock and income.

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House Tightness – Leaks will inevitably occur. To prevent leaks, spray foam or caulk on the side and end walls of your houses. If you see holes in your ceilings, you need to repair them as soon as possible so heat won’t escape. Keep holes patched and regularly look for places cold air could enter houses.

Static Pressure – Routine pressure checks are essential, especially before winter starts. Pressure checks ensure that air quality is good and you are not wasting fuel. You can test the pressure by closing all doors, vents, fans, and shutters and turning on one fan. The fan will create a negative pressure situation sucking in internal air which measures the static pressure. Each integrator will have its standards, but if your house does not pull a .12 static pressure, it is not up to code.

Fans –  Tighten or replace fan belts when needed. They will become loose over time. Fan blades also need to be kept clean for maximum circulation.

Vents –  A working vent will allow air to be circulated to the center of the house. Check that all vent doors are working properly and that their hinges are not corroded.

Heater Maintenance – Heaters must work properly, or you will lose fuel.  Clean orifices regularly, or replace orifices if they are not the right size. You can check for cracks in heaters by cleaning them with soapy water which will expose external cracks. Never use an open flame in houses to prevent fires from occurring.

Insulation – Check the ceiling and side walls to make sure they are adequate. The important areas are tunnel inlets and tunnel fans. Tunnel doors that are sealed to the side walls work best and can keep air from coming into the house.

Traditionally, growers have used other curtain material-like sheets to insulate poultry houses. Keep in mind that curtains need to be removed in emergency situations. On the far end of the house, use fan covers that are locked in the off position. This can cut down on air entering houses through shutters.

Stir Fans – By utilizing stir fans, the air in your houses will continuously mix. Stir fans will also promote moisture removal from the house during minimum ventilation.  Stir fans can have the largest impact on older, non-insulated poultry houses because the environment is not as controlled.

 

By preparing your poultry houses for the winter months, you will save tremendously. The tips above will easily help you transition to the cooler months ahead. To learn more about preparing your poultry farm for winter, visit www.poultryventilation.com or www.poultryhouse.com.