Follow these 10 steps to aid litter curing and prepare your poultry houses so that brooding conditions that lead to paw lesions are reduced.
Close houses up tightly as soon as birds are caught. Keep houses closed unless they are being actively worked in. Run sufficient fan time ONLY AS NEEDED to prevent condensation or while workers are present.
Walk houses to identify areas with cake. If cake is due to leaks or drafts, correct those issues.
De-cake or windrow houses as soon as possible after birds are caught. Run de-cake machines as shallow as possible, only removing the cake left behind by the previous flock.
Remove litter along the sidewalls in houses with 8+ inches of litter to reduce ammonia load. Pull center litter to the wall. Do not remove center litter as it has the least amount of ammonia of any location.
Level out windrows AT LEAST 7 days before chick placement to allow the litter to breathe, and ammonia and CO2 levels to settle down.
Begin pre-heating at a set temperature of 93-95°F at least 48 hours before chick arrival. Place temperature sensors on the floor and near the outer waterline during pre-heating, if possible. Doing these things will allow the litter to expel ammonia from pre-heating as quickly as possible and to calm back down to a steady state of ammonia release before the birds arrive.
Drop curtains or run fans to exhaust purged ammonia just prior to PLT® application.
Apply PLT® at a rate of 100-150 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. as close to chick placement as possible. PLT® can be applied over top of paper and feed.
Begin minimum ventilation two hours prior to chick placement and return to normal set temperatures.
Closely monitor relative humidity levels and increase ventilation time if RH exceeds 65%.