Benefits of Controlling Relative Humidity

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Date: 
1997
Volume: 
9
Number: 
4
Tip Category: 
Ammonia
Litter quality
Minimum ventilation

For years many producers have used ammonia levels as the primary basis for determining timer fan settings. For example, a grower may set his interval timer for 30 seconds or maybe even a minute out of ten with day old birds when there is little or no ammonia. As the birds get older and ammonia increases, the timer clock setting and the number of fans operating off the timer are increased to keep the ammonia levels at what the grower perceives as acceptable. Though this method of setting timer fans has proven fairly effective in the past, is their a more effective air quality variable that could be used to help determine how to set timers on minimum ventilation fans? After all, what is perceived as a high level of ammonia varies from grower to grower. Furthermore, growers often become desensitized to ammonia over years of working in a poultry house, limiting their ability to determine when ammonia levels are high. Instruments used to measure ammonia are of little practical use due to their cost, questionable accuracy, and high level of maintenance required.