Research Focus Area(s)
Animal Production Systems Engineering
Granting or Sponsoring Agency
Midwest Poultry Research Program
Maintaining comfortable environmental temperatures in modern laying-hen houses during wintertime is typically accomplished by using minimum ventilation rates. The winter minimum ventilation is designed to provide moisture control and maintain appropriate indoor air quality. As barns are adjusted to provide a lower stocking density or designed as alternative systems (e.g., cage-free housing), the house will hold considerably fewer birds. Fewer birds result in less animal heat in the house, as such in the winter there is often a struggle between thermal comfort and indoor air quality. Because the minimum ventilation rate for air quality control is likely greater than the ventilation desired to maintain thermal comfort, the house will encounter one of the conditions: a) a cooler environment with good indoor air quality, resulting from elevated ventilation with no or limited supplemental heating (to conserve energy); or 2) a comfortable environment with relatively poor indoor air quality, resulting from reduced ventilation rate.
Hayes, Morgan; Xin, Hongwei; and Li, Hong, "Assessing Hen Response to Ammonia and Thermal Comfort Combinations via Preference Test" (2009). Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Technical Reports and White Papers. 5.