Auburn University Poultry Ventilation and Housing           NPTC - National Poultry Technology Center at Auburn University

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Four Most Recent Newsletters

#83 Fan Belt Tensioner Failure

#82 On-Farm

Fan Testing

#81 LED Lighting Update


7 Basics of Brooding

Four Most Popular Newsletters
#76 Get Ready for Hot Weather #74 Generator Service

#52 Energy Auditing Houses

#59 Efficient Lighting

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New Newsletter #83 - "Tensioner Failure - Serious Problem, Easy Fix" - Download Newsletter Here

belt tensioner

An integral part of many, if not most, modern poultry house fans is a spring loaded belt tensioner. Tensioners have an important role in helping maintain proper belt tension and allowing the fan motor to transfer all its power to the fan blades - insuring maximum air moving capabilities. However, if tensioners fail to work properly the result is likely to be serious losses in ventilation rate and windspeed. Given the environment they have to work in, with all the moisture and dust that cannot be avoided in a poultry house, it is no wonder that one of the most common and problematic issues is tensioners freezing up and thereby robbing the fan of much of its power to move air. Luckily this can be a simple problem to remedy.

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Newsletter #82 - "A Practical Guide to On-Farm Fan Testing" - Download Newsletter Here


A modern poultry house's tunnel fans are responsible for cooling birds and this fact makes maintaining their performance over time an utmost priority for a grower. It has been well documented what an additional 100 fpm of wind speed can mean to a broiler chicken in hot weather. In a house moving air at 600fpm, it only takes about a 15% loss of fan power to lose 100 fpm in wind speed. This small margin for error makes it imperative that a grower know what his fans are doing and take action quickly against any decrease in fan performance. Good testing over time can help a grower identify and fix fan problems before much wind speed is lost and bird performance is negatively impacted. Please click here for more information.

Newsletter #81 - "Update: LEDs for Broiler House Lighting" - Download Newsletter Here


 Current models of commercial grade LEDs have overcome early problems with the technology, and now can be an excellent choice in converting from incandescent to higher-efficiency lighting in broiler houses. In a 52-socket broiler house, power bill savings from this conversion can range from about $1,000 to $1,500 per year, with break-even payback ranging from two or three flocks to around two years, depending on circumstances. LEDs shown here are finned A19 types, which are dimmable and have proven to provide good lighting uniformity in dropped ceiling houses. Fins dissipate heat, helping extend bulb life and maintain light intensity; however, cleaning between flocks is especially important for finned types. To download the full newsletter on LEDs click here.

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Mission: Improve bottom line profitability of the live production sector of the US poultry industry by providing timely applied research and education resulting in increased efficiencies in housing, equipment, energy and environmental control. Poultry housing, energy, ventilation, economics, and management problems are usually intertwined and very complex.  In trying to find solutions to these major grower and industry problems, we at Auburn University have successfully used a teamwork approach for several years. The Auburn Poultry Housing Team collaborating in this work includes Jim Donald - Ag Engineer, Gene Simpson - Ag Economist, Jesse Campbell - Poultry Housing Specialist, and Dennis Brothers - Extension Poultry Housing Specialist. Feel free to contact any team member if you have questions relating to their areas of expertise. Please note, however, that team members cannot provide design recommendations or diagnose specific problems through email.

Last Updated: June 25, 2014

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