Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Ninth International Livestock Environment Symposium

Publication Date



Valencia, Spain


An Excel-based spreadsheet model was developed to delineate ventilation rate (VR), supplemental heat requirement (Hs), balance temperature (tbal, outdoor temperature below which Hs is required), energy consumption and cost for Hs in alternative (aviary and enriched colony) versus conventional cage laying-hen housing systems. The model was then applied to the Midwestern U.S. housing characteristics at winter weather conditions (-30°C to 5°C temperature, 70% RH). Effects of stocking density, target house temperature and RH (ti, RHi), building insulation level, and light vs. dark period on VR, tbal and Hs were examined. For the housing characteristics considered, tbal for the alternative housing systems was found to be 2.5°C to 3.7°C higher than that for the conventional cage counterpart to maintain the houses at 25°C ti and 60% RHi. The heater capability needs to be at least 26.6 to 28.4 kW per 10,000 birds for the aviary houses (107,000-bird capacity), and 22.7 kW per 10,000 birds for the enriched colony house (124,000-bird capacity). Annual Hs use was estimated to be 0.17 to 0.25 MJ [kg egg]-1 in the alternative houses. Among the influencing factors considered, ti and RHi setpoints have more pronounced impact on tbal and Hs than other factors. The Hs energy cost for the alternative housing systems in the Midwestern US was shown to account for less than 0.5% of the total production cost. The interactive model can be readily used for analysis of other production and climatic conditions.


This is an ASABE Conference Presentation, Paper No. ILES12-0198.

Copyright Owner

American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers




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