Summer Poultry House Preparation for Maximum Ammonia Control

By May 30, 2013News, PLT

Hot, humid summer days means house pre-heating isn’t necessary, right? Wrong! One of the biggest myths regarding house preparation during summer months is that proper pre-heating is not required since it only takes an hour or two to heat the litter.

In reality, proper litter curing requires a 48-hour pre-heat regardless of the time of year. The good news? Pre-heating is even easier in the summer.

  • Brooders will barely cycle to maintain air temperature during the pre-heat process.  Simply turn on the brooders to the required set temperature 48 hours prior to the new chicks arriving. 
  • Only run ventilation if necessary to prevent the house from sweating.  This usually only requires about 5 minutes run time every hour. 
  • The 48 hour pre-heat will cure the litter by releasing excess moisture and ammonia.  It will also warm the litter evenly form sidewall to sidewall and deep into the litter bed.

Why Pre-Heat in Summer?

When growers neglect to pre-heat for 48 hours during the summer months, the litter does not cure and the litter is still purging ammonia when the chicks are placed. In fact, ammonia levels above 50 PPM are commonly found in houses in the summer when growers use minimum ventilation and don’t pre-heat long enough. 

Plus, once the fans switch to continuous run due to temperature within the house, the extra ventilation rapidly cools off the top layer of the litter if the entire litter bed has not been properly warmed.  This causes chicks to sit down in the litter and prevents them from eating as they should.  Chicks that don’t eat because they get cool are chicks that don’t grow.  Not a good choice for any grower’s bottom line.

Plan smart this summer by making ammonia control a priority–pre-heat!

Want more tips for optimal performance during summer? Check out the financial reasons to use PLT® during summer in our technical bulletin or get more details in our summer-focused research

Have questions? Contact your local representative to discuss the problems you’re facing this summer.