was successfully added to your cart.


Managing Litter During Very Short Downtimes

By April 12, 2021News, PLT

Results of a research study from the US Department of Agriculture released in June 2020 showed that reusing broiler litter can be beneficial and that the optimal downtime period is two weeks. Of course, the demands of live production don’t always allot for that amount of downtime. In fact, Jones-Hamilton reps recently talked to growers in Texas faced with downtimes of just three to five days.

In these cases, Connie Mou, PhD. says growers must focus on removing as much moisture from the litter as possible. The ideal method to remove this much moisture in a short amount of time is by heating up the houses. “In these situations, we recommend turning on heaters the moment birds leave the house or at least 24 hours after with a minimum target set temperature of 100°F. If houses remain wet, the next flock will be potentially challenged with wet litter which means high ammonia and bacteria levels, and issues with paw lesions.”

Heating houses to 100°F or more has the potential to reduce litter moisture.
At a 100°F for approximately three days could potentially reduce litter moisture from 35% down to 15%.

Cost vs Benefit

With more downtime, decaking and fans can help dry litter. However, heaters are the fastest way to dry litter and are therefore necessary during short downtimes.

“While there are many variables that can affect heating costs (ventilation rate, litter depth, litter moisture level, heater functionality, houses tightness, outside temperature, etc.), the growers in Texas are currently looking at $200/day/house*.” It’s important to continue to ventilate during this heating process to remove the moisture and ammonia released from the litter out of the house.

Still unsure about the benefits of additional heating costs? Consider what’s at stake. The cost of ammonia on bird weight and feed conversion (among others) has been clearly documented for decades.

*Daily cost to heat a 40 x 500 house at 100°F with propane costs at $2/gallon (at the time of this writing).

Struggling with managing litter during short downtimes? Contact your Jones-Hamilton Co. rep today for assistance.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Kimber Ward Joins Jones-Hamilton Co. as Sales Territory Manager

| News | No Comments
Jones-Hamilton Co. announces that Kimber Ward has joined the company as Territory Sales Manager in the Agricultural Division. In his new role, Ward will manage sales and support of PLT litter amendment and other Jones-Hamilton products to integrators, producers and...

Wet Litter in Hot Weather?

| News, PLT | No Comments
High summer temperatures result in higher ventilation rates, which should mean drier litter. So why is caked litter often an issue, particularly near the cool cells? It takes three things to remove moisture from litter – heat, air movement and...

Ammonia Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacation: Poultry House Preparation in Hot Weather

| News, PLT | No Comments
Do you need to pre-heat poultry houses in summer? YES!   One of the biggest myths regarding house preparation during summer months is that a proper 48-hour pre-heat is not required since it only takes an hour or two to...

Managing Litter During a Pine Shaving Shortage

| News, PLT | No Comments
Across the country, the pine shavings used by many poultry producers for bedding have become increasingly difficult to find as well as more expensive. While the industry at large no longer cleans out houses after every flock, clean outs are...