Temperature stratification and fuel use during winter in three Pennsylvania broiler houses

E. F. Wheeler, J. S. Zajaczkowski, R. W.J. Weiss, R. M. Hulet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Providing a comfortable, uniform environment for broilers is one goal of ventilation, but minimizing fuel consumption is often an overriding consideration during cold weather. Three broiler houses in central Pennsylvania were monitored over three complete flock cycles for temperature conditions to document the impact winter ventilation management had on house environment and fuel use. Undesirable temperature stratification resulted in chick-level temperatures that averaged over 3.0°C (5.4°F) cooler than target temperatures on the day of chick arrival at the poultry house. Temperatures at the thermostat sensor height of 1.5 m (5 ft) were closer to desirable conditions. Space heaters (furnaces) directed heated air well into the room, but when the ventilation system inlets did not provide adequate mixing of this heated air with cooler outside air, temperature stratification developed. This was particularly a problem at low minimum ventilation rates when timer fans were employed. Timer fans were not necessarily effectively managed in these facilities. Monitoring environmental conditions at bird level is a first step in eliminating cool floor temperatures. A more uniform temperature can be maintained when more effective air mixing discourages temperature stratification development Partial house brooding was an advantage because approximately one-third less fuel was utilized with an opportunity for tighter environmental control in a smaller space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-563
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Poultry Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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