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Poultry Housing BSE 2294 Animal Structures and Environments S. Christian Mariger Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Poultry Housing BSE 2294 Animal Structures and Environments S. Christian Mariger Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Poultry Housing BSE 2294 Animal Structures and Environments S. Christian Mariger Ph.D.

2 Early Poultry Production Prior to the second world war most chickens were produced in open yards or dirt floor sheds. With the breeds and feeds available: back yard producers could produce a 3.5 lb bird in about 16 weeks. Poultry markets were local as the birds had to be transported live and process close to the end user.

3 Early Poultry Production Early production systems were not specialized, flocks produced meat and eggs which the producer could utilize or sell. Many rural and even urban families raised chickens to supplement their income and table. Note the dirt floor, litter and waste were removed by hand. While most of these early chicken houses were naturally ventilated, but producers often improvised additional ventilation.

4 Poultry Advances in breeding/genetics and feeds and nutrition improved feed conversion and cut production time for a 3.5 lb bird from 16 to 8 weeks. Advances in refrigeration expanded distribution of processed birds and eggs and enlarged the market. The dynamic of the poultry market and the industry had changed.

5 Poultry The scale of production increased Large flocks in houses or open yards became the norm The price of chicken dropped from $0.65/lb 1940 to $0.29/lb in 1960 Demand for poultry products grew in response

6 Modern Poultry Production Today large scale chicken and turkey production is done in total confinement facilities. –Weather –Predators/parasites –Pathogens –Automation –Intensive production schedules –Control of waste runoff

7 Modern Poultry Production Note the natural ventilation and insulation used in this turkey house

8 Poultry Production Modern poultry operators tend to specialize in one type of production. Poultry housing must be geared toward each individual operation. Houses for various production enterprises may differ greatly in size, appearance, and arrangement of facilities. However, they also have some similar requirements. –A good location, with a good water source and a well-insulated building, equipped with a proper ventilation, heating, lighting, feeding and watering system are important in all types of poultry housing.

9 Separation by Age Class & Product Like the swine industry, poultry producers are separating birds by species age class and product. –Brooding – chicks & poults –Breeding – hens & roosters/toms –Laying – egg production –Broilers – meat production Age segregation: –Customize environment to optimize productivity –Prevent the spread of pathogens Younger birds more susceptible than older birds.

10 Brooding early period of growth when supplemental heat must be provided, due to the birds inability to generate enough body heat. Start at 95° F and reduced by 5° each week.

11 Brooding Brooding rings are used to keep chicks and poults near food, water and heat, critical for their survival

12 Breeding Roosters and hens are most productive at 72° F

13 Breeding Light effects the sexual maturity of birds, for example decreasing photo periods will delay sexual maturity. Breeding houses are often blackout facilities where the entry of light is tightly controlled so the producer can control the amount of light received by the birds through artificial lighting.

14 Laying hens Prefer a temperature of 70-72° F Sophisticated ventilation is required to support this battery cage arrangement. Note the eggs in the trays below the hens.

15 Broiler/Grow-out Facilities Broilers need consistent temperatures and constant access to food and water to grow efficiently. Note the slotted floor for waste.

16 Most poultry production in Virginia is integrator driven Integrators are large agribusinesses, which contract farmers to raise their poultry. The integrator owns the birds, provides the feed and the veterinary supplies/care The farmer provides the land, labor and the capitol. (Consequently the farmer assumes most of the risk) In this system most of the production decisions are made by the integrator, including building specifications and even the contractor hired to do the building.

17 Integrator poultry systems Typically a farmer in an integrated system will receive hatched chicks from the integrator. The chicks are raised in a brooding facility until they are large enough to be moved into broiler grow-out housing The broilers are fed until they reach market weight and are shipped out live for processing.

18 Broiler & Breeding Environments Integrated company programs vary but consistent temperatures of ° F produce the best performance in mature birds. Maintaining temperature consistency and uniformity throughout the house is as important as the temperature itself.

19 Warm Weather Ventilation The 72° F optimum temperature is the effective temperature the bird feels. in warm weather ventilation alone will not reduce the temperature enough. The wind chill effect of tunnel ventilation and evaporative cooling pads help to lower the effective temperature.

20 Ventilation

21 Cold Weather Ventilation In the winter months minimum ventilation removes ammonia and moisture. However in very cold weather temperatures can not be maintained Supplemental heating may be required even in the deep south. Forced air heating is becoming more common especially in breeding facilities

22 Feeding Feed delivery has been largely automated.

23 Watering Systems Watering has also been highly automated

24 Waste Systems Slotted floor with flush. Dry conveyor systems Litter and manure systems

25 References Auburn University, Poultry Production & Housing, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency online,

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