Tunnel Operation Tips for Houses With Young Birds

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Date: 
2015
Volume: 
28
Number: 
4
Tip Category: 
Evaporative cooling
Hot weather management
Tunnel ventilation

It is widely understood that tunnel ventilation is a necessity when it comes to keeping market-age broilers comfortable during hot weather. Air speeds of 600 ft/min or more combined with evaporative pad cooling of ten degrees or more have proven to not only help keep heat stress related mortality to a minimum, but enable the birds to continue to eat and grow during even the hottest summer weather. But, if we want to insure maximum bird performance, health and comfort throughout a flock, tunnel ventilation needs to be viewed as an important tool that producers can and should use any time birds appear heat stressed, whether they are 60 days old or five.

Though tunnel ventilation is in general not required at the beginning of a flock, during periods of extreme heat when house temperatures may be running 5 to 10oF above desired target temperatures and young birds appear heat stressed (i.e, lying stretched out, panting), it use is advisable. The goal in this situation is not to utilize the full cooling potential of a house’s tunnel ventilation system, but rather to use just enough tunnel fan and evaporative cooling pad capacity to keep young birds comfortable....