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Poultry cold preparation

Poultry cold preparation

(Summary description) It must be ensured that the poultry house can withstand the harshest winters. Key points of cold protection techniques from Dr. Tom Tabler (Professor of Extension), Dr. Jessica Wells (Instructor of Extension), and Dr. Wei Zhai (Assistant Professor of Extension/Research) from Mississippi State University's Department of Poultry Science.

Poultry cold preparation

(Summary description) It must be ensured that the poultry house can withstand the harshest winters. Key points of cold protection techniques from Dr. Tom Tabler (Professor of Extension), Dr. Jessica Wells (Instructor of Extension), and Dr. Wei Zhai (Assistant Professor of Extension/Research) from Mississippi State University's Department of Poultry Science.

Information

It must be ensured that the poultry house can withstand the harshest winters. Key points of cold protection techniques from Dr. Tom Tabler (Professor of Extension), Dr. Jessica Wells (Instructor of Extension), and Dr. Wei Zhai (Assistant Professor of Extension/Research) from Mississippi State University's Department of Poultry Science.

When the cool breeze starts to blow in the summer, farmers will start to prepare in advance for the arrival of the cold winter. Gas prices continue to rise, and farmers must make the most of every penny spent on gas. This means that poultry house machinery and equipment must be in optimal working order.

Routine maintenance is the key to keeping your poultry house running efficiently. The poultry house and the equipment inside need to last for many years. A poultry house can only operate efficiently on the basis of regular maintenance and good maintenance of the house and its equipment.

Without a doubt, the top priority to maintain during the transition to winter is the airtightness of the house. A good seal is important for total climate control, especially in winter, to reduce air leaks and their fuel usage. Air leaks increase fuel consumption and can negatively impact chicken performance. Chicks catch cold easily. The growth performance of the entire flock can be affected by the harsh environment.

Fuel costs may also be excessive. Just one eighth of an inch gap along the sides of a 500-foot coop equals a 10-square-foot hole in the wall. Door ends and footings should be sealed to prevent air leakage. The only air entering the house should be minimum ventilation and must be through the exhaust valve, not loose curtains, footings or door ends.

The curtain rod must be tightly integrated with the door curtain, and the bottom must be properly sealed. Broken curtain rods should be replaced to prevent the curtain from sagging. If the curtain rod is broken, the seal is not tight. Roller blinds require special attention. They are usually insulated and, therefore, heavier than regular sidewall curtains. When closed they can be embedded or suspended over one end of the outer wall. Excessive weight will increase the extension of the curtain rod, which is more prone to failure.

If your birdhouse has roller shutters instead of roller shutters, they must fit snugly against the cold walls and remain sealed. If the coop is suspended, there must be no holes in the ceiling barrier to prevent warm air from entering the upper space. This wastes fuel and creates water vapor in the upper space, reducing the effectiveness of the insulating layer.

Exhaust valves must be inspected regularly to ensure they open and close properly and seal tightly when closed. Exhaust door strips often come loose from the steel strip that opens and closes the door when the ventilator is running. Raising a batch of chickens during the winter typically requires thousands of operations. These machines have gears and grease fittings under the casing to protect the gears from dust. Keep in mind that accessories need to be greased from time to time to function properly.

Regularly check the static pressure in the house (the difference between the air pressure inside and outside the house) to determine the tightness of the seal. Static pressure control is to close all exhaust vents, fan gates, door ends, etc. and then turn on the duct fan and read the static pressure value on the house controller. The curtain side house should be able to discharge a static pressure of at least 0.12 (greater than 0.20 is common and is usually the lowest value in solid wall houses). The static pressure must be high enough to mix the hot and cold air without letting the cold air fall on the floor and chill the chickens. Improper mixing can affect thermometer readings and lead to excessive fuel usage, which is detrimental to chicken health.

The location of the thermometer is very important for the comfort of the chicken. Years ago, nearly every breeder hung just one thermometer in each coop, about 3 feet above the ground and 50 feet from the wall (note that the chickens are raised on the floor!). Today, each house typically has multiple thermometers placed horizontally at body level, regardless of the age of the birds. These thermometers are usually attached to the drinking line cable and rise as the chicken grows and the drinking line rises. This ensures that the thermometer remains at chicken body level throughout the breeding process.

Each thermometer controls the temperature within the set area. This means that if one area is cold and all other areas are normal, the heaters in the cold area will activate, effectively maintaining the house environment. Placing a thermometer at the level of the chicken ensures that the proper temperature environment for the chicken is maintained.

Another aspect is that there must be sufficient air pressure to operate the brooder and the furnace. Brooders and furnaces operate most efficiently at specific pressures. Power stove operation requires higher operating pressures than brooders. (When using high-efficiency infrared brooders. Many group companies no longer use gas stoves during new builds or house renovations). Air pressure is usually of greatest concern at the location furthest from the propane tank. If the propane tank is in the center of the house, the brooders/stoves at both ends will be the first to malfunction. If the pressure is too low, the heating device will only produce a faint yellow flame (providing a weak heat) instead of the dark blue flame that would normally operate.

The hot blast stove will have problems before the brooder due to the higher pressure requirements, but the brooder will also have problems if the pressure is too low. While the problem is usually related to too low gas in the tank, too thin plumbing inside and outside the house can also cause these problems, especially if it has just been rebuilt or if additional brooders/stoves have been added without replacing the plumbing.

Also watch out for gas leaks. Sometimes you will smell an odor (usually the smell of chemicals added to spot leaks). You can also spray plumbing fittings, regulators, and other parts with a bottle of spray soapy water to see if bubbles form, which can indicate an air leak, even if you haven't smelled it yet.

Remember that there are operating pressure differences between propane and natural gas systems. Propane typically operates at 10-12 inches of water, while natural gas operates at 6-8 inches. Your gas supply must be able to detect your farm's regulator to ensure an adequate pressure setting.

Also, the brooder aperture should match the type of gas you are using. If you change the propane to use natural gas, you will have to change the pore size of all heating elements. Check the holes for the cold air to make sure no dust, dirt, cobwebs, mud wasps, etc. have built up after a long summer. The reason the brooder isn't firing may not be a lack of gas, not enough pressure, or a problem with the igniter, but simply a blocked orifice. If you are lighting the brooder directly without a signal light, keep a spare lighter on hand to be safe.

Fans are important to any minimum ventilation plan. Fans and blades must be kept clean to ensure proper operation. Frequent cleaning is necessary to maintain optimum efficiency. Fan drive belts must be tightened for optimum operation. Belts that slip or vibrate on the brakes must be replaced promptly.

If you don't have these, a stirring fan might be an option. Stirring fans can help reduce temperature stratification by removing hot air from the roof. This will help remove moisture from the litter.

Fans not used for minimum ventilation (i.e. ducted fans) should be covered with hoods in winter to prevent air leakage around the blades. Covers should be blown off as required to reduce heat build-up or emergencies.

Don't wait until the cold weather arrives to act. Start early to prepare for cold weather ahead of time. Routine maintenance saves energy and keeps the house running properly and efficiently.

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