Remember when you were a kid on those hot summer days you went to the back yard and got to turn on the sprinkler? Oh, the refreshing joy! Well, it turns out that cooling broilers with sprinkler systems in their houses just may provide the chickens that same type of refreshing experience.Research from several leading poultry research institutes shows that using a sprinkler system in a broiler house can help dramatically reduce water use and improve humidity control inside the building1.
With poultry, house humidity levels are extremely important. That’s because birds don’t sweat. They must breathe excess heat and moisture out through their mouths and nostrils. Sprinkler systems help producers better control humidity levels in the houses.
Another benefit of houses with sprinkler systems is that birds get up and move around more. They are more comfortable, so they tend to get up and eat and drink more regularly. Their “mosey around the house” also helps prevent heat from building up between birds that otherwise, might be sitting still.
Getting started with a sprinkler system doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Retrofitting plans are available and have been tried in a variety of scenarios. While it may sound topsy turvey, by using a sprinkler system, producers use less water, lower humidity in the house and lessen heat stress on the birds. Sprinklers may also contribute to drier bedding which is a great benefit for foot health.
If it has hooves, feathers, or paws, there’s a good chance Kathleen Lonergan Erickson has been actively engaged in some aspect of raising, handling, or supporting the animals and humans involved! Kathleen has worked directly in animal agriculture through the family farm, as a journalist, through corporate experience, and as an independent marketing communications consultant. Her understanding of the business of agriculture is as deep and strong as is her respect for agricultural producers. She is a graduate of Iowa State University, and recently returned to university to earn her master’s degree in Agricultural Innovation. Supporting the innovative work of Summit Livestock Facilities is a natural fit for her.