Efficient poultry ventilation

The importance of ventilation in poultry houses

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As a poultry farmer, you ensure the welfare and healthy growth of your birds on a daily basis. Your goal is also a good, uniform climate for all the birds throughout the house. Because you know that creating the ideal comfort zone for your poultry is the only way to reduce illness and boost growth. Poultry feel conformable in a house climate where they are able to maintain a constant body temperature with minimum effort. Only then can they deliver the maximum biological performance. Choosing an efficient poultry ventilation system gives you all the tools you need to adapt the house climate to match the needs of your birds precisely. And the ventilation automatically adjusts to suit the age of your birds. 

There are a few aspects you need to consider:

1. Energy efficient ventilation in poultry houses

The poultry ventilation system often accounts for the largest share of energy use in your house. But too much ventilation will remove heat unnecessarily, which is why it is vital to create the right balance between ventilation and heating. However, too little ventilation must also be prevented. Sufficient circulation is necessary to extract harmful gases like CO2, NH3 and moisture from your house and introduce oxygen-rich fresh air. There is a great temptation to utilise some extra ventilation capacity to ensure there is enough fresh air for all the birds in the house. But this involves the risk of the most commonly made mistake in climate control: too much ventilation. 10% too much ventilation can add up to 5% higher energy consumption. The assurance of accurate measurement and control of the required ventilation flow eliminates this problem and you can automatically control and create the optimal balance between ventilation and heating to prevent unnecessary heat loss.

Energy-efficient ventilation saves energy costs

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2. How poultry ventilation impacts on your feed costs

A correctly controlled house climate also has a positive impact on feed consumption. If the house climate is too warm, the birds will eat less. If this situation persists for too long, the growth rate may start to stagnate. But if the house climate is too cold, the birds will need to divert energy to maintaining their body temperature. Instead of using the energy from feed for growth, it is used to keep warm. A poor indoor climate also increases the risk of illness and even mortality. Birds that are ill often lag behind in their growth. And no matter what the reason is for stagnating growth, extra feed will always be needed to recover the lost weight. This negatively impacts on feed conversion and drives up your feed costs. 

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3. Types of ventilation in poultry houses

But how do you create the best climate for your poultry? To ensure that poultry benefit from a comfortable indoor climate throughout the entire production cycle, from day-old chicks to adult broilers, the ventilation process is divided into three phases, minimum, transitional and tunnel ventilation.

Minimum ventilation

The first phase is minimum ventilation. This is the minimum amount of ventilation necessary to extract moisture from the house and maintain the best possible house climate while minimising heat loss. This is particularly important with young, still developing birds and to prevent respiratory problems. Good minimum ventilation is crucial to obtaining top performances from your birds! 

With minimum ventilation, air enters the house inside via air inlets at the sides of the building and is extracted by fans in the ridge or end gables. Accurate control of the airflow ensures that the fresh air is evenly distributed throughout the house even with low air speeds.

The importance of minimum ventilation

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Transitional ventilation - a calming effect in the house

With an increasing need for ventilation the system switches to the transitional phase, the gradual transition to tunnel ventilation. The gentle and gradual transition is important to prevent the birds experiencing any stress. There are no noises caused by abruptly opening or shutting inlets, no unexpected draughts and no changes to the light intensity if tunnel inlets suddenly open that could disturb the birds. Gradual transitions ensure a calming atmosphere and the birds remain nicely distributed throughout the house. 

During the transitional phase, the minimum ventilation runs on maximum and the large tunnel fans are activated, while the tunnel inlet slowly opens. The system takes the age of the birds into account and ensures air speeds in the house do get too high while the young birds are still developing their feathers. 

Tunnel ventilation cools the house

The last phase of the ventilation process is tunnel ventilation. At this stage it's important to extract the excess heat produced by the birds. The air inlets are fully closed and the tunnel inlets are opened as required. The fans in the rear gable are activated. This configuration causes the so-called tunnel effect where air flows over the birds at high speed. This air flow creates a cooling breeze that usually provides sufficient cooling in a temperate climate. If required, pad cooling can also be installed. Even with maximum occupancy and extremely high outside temperatures, the birds will continue to grow.

Automatic climate control

The climate computer in the house automatically regulates a gradual transition from minimum to maximum ventilation, ensuring a comfortable environment for the poultry. However, it is still important to regularly check and adjust the climate computer settings, especially when the seasons change and in extreme or fluctuating weather conditions. And finetune control using the additional options in the climate computer.

Read more about the unique control features in our climate computers

Ventilatie in pluimveestallen

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