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The issues facing poultry professionals include calculating the volume of broiler birds per crop, very narrow margins per kg/bird, lighting control, constant water supply, treatment and dosing systems, feeding systems and climate control.

What is clear is the need for a healthy and conducive environment in which birds can thrive and fulfil the best possible margin. Hydor is urging farmers to think carefully about how poor ventilation can adversely affect the health of their birds and ultimately their business.

Critical to this, argues Hydor, is the environment in which the birds are kept. Inside the shed good ventilation is essential to deliver oxygen-laden fresh air to the birds.

Excess heat produced through respiration and solar gain needs to be removed, as does moisture released during respiration or from droppings. Harmful gases, such as carbon dioxide released during breathing or ammonia evaporating from the droppings, need to be removed as well. Airborne dust particles and disease-causing organisms in the air also need diluting and removal from the building. These factors along with many others will help to define the ventilation systems required.

Free range houses have traditionally relied on natural ventilation systems, which use ridge vents complemented by side wall inlets and pop holes. Many other agricultural buildings work this same way, however, if there is no wind outside this greatly reduces the air exchange inside and forced air ventilation is required.

Conventional Ventilation uses fans in the roof/ridge to draw air from side wall air inlets whereas Reverse-Flow Ventilation uses fans in the side wall to draw air from roof/ridge air inlets.

Tunnel Ventilation employs gable end fans that introduce, carry and expel air from end to end in the shed. In broiler houses, this type of system is used in conjunction with a conventional or reverse-flow set up.

A heating system is required to produce constant temperatures, which in turn allow good air exchange rates inside the building. Biomass, gas, electric, air exchange pumps, heat exchangers and radiant or hot water/fan systems are the main provisions.

For complete control however, a climate control computer that is incorporated into a panel working with alarm systems for temperature, power failure, CO2 levels, feeder and drinker management, is required. A computer managed system gives detailed crop analysis; aiding poultry farmers to address issues and learn from them, thus improving profitability.

Every hour that a bird is ill or not eating, results in poor performance which impacts on end of crop profits. Ensuring a good environment and good healthy stock can significantly reduce lost time, growth, productivity and profitability. Hydor have extensive experience and knowledge along with 24 hour service and proven products to help poultry farmers choose the best ventilation systems and keep their stock healthy.