Minimizing Wet Litter Problems in Houses with Evap Cooling Pads

Tip Category: 
Evaporative cooling
Hot weather management
Litter quality

The primary cause of wet litter in the vicinity of the tunnel curtain is simply evaporative cooling pads being set to operate at too low of a temperature. The fact of the matter is that evaporative cooling pads should not be used when outside air temperature is below 80oF. This is because for the vast majority of poultry growing areas in the U.S. whenever outside air temperature is below 80oF the relative humidity is above 80% (Figure 1). When 80% Rh air is drawn through an evaporative cooling pad very little cooling is produced and the relative humidity of the incoming air will tend to rise to near saturation (Figure 2). When this super humid air is pulled across the litter very little if any moisture is removed from the litter. Considering the fact that in the typical house with older birds around 300 gallons of water is added to the litter by the birds in the vicinity of the tunnel curtain each day, it doesn’t take long for the water to build-up in the litter and the floors to slick over.