The best strategy to Protect Your Chickens While Growing Your Earnings
Hot chicken is great when you’re sitting down to eat. But when living chickens get too hot in your poultry houses, you stand to lose big money. Heat-stressed chickens grow less, lay fewer eggs, and drink more water. That means lower profits for you.
But the increased summer energy usage required to keep your chickens happy in their ideal 65-75oF temperature range can sink your profits just as easily.
So you’re trapped between two profit-draining choices:
- Try to cut corners on temperature control. Result: Poultry production suffers.
- Keep the chickens happy. Result: Your energy bill skyrockets.
What’s a smart poultry farmer supposed to do?
Let’s take a closer look at the energy requirements for the hot summer months of poultry farming, and why it’s so important to maintain a consistent temperature in your poultry houses.
Summer Poultry Farm Energy Use
The top two consumers of energy in poultry houses are the fans and the lights. But between those, the fans use far more, accounting for between 65-80% of an electric bill at a typical poultry farm.
And during the summer, one study found that poultry farms use 60-70% more electricity than they do in the winter.
The main reason for this is the increased use of fans to combat the heat. Lights are pretty constant through all the seasons, and depending on where you’re located, you need some heat in the winter. But fans and ventilation in the summer are your single greatest cause of higher summer energy bills.
In fact, another study found that fuel and electricity costs account for up to 30% of the total expenses on a poultry farm. But that assumes you’re buying all your feed. Some farms get their feed for free or at reduced prices as part of a deal with a wholesaler. For those farms, energy costs are the dominant expense in their farm operation. And the summer is the most energy consumptive time of year.
So, why are these fans necessary, and is there any way to reduce the need for them?
In a typical poultry farm, the answer is, not really. You have to keep your chickens comfortable.
Why Poultry Needs Consistent Temperatures
When temperatures climb above 80oF, chickens start to feel the heat. They can’t sweat, so their primary means of cooling themselves is to start panting. Breathing can increase as much as ten times normal, from about 25 breaths per minute to 250.
All this panting has several serious consequences for the chicken, and for you if you want a profitable poultry farm operation.
Here are the main ‘chicken changes’ you’ll see as temperatures rise through the 80s and 90s:
- Eat less, and therefore grow less
- Drink more water to offset losses from panting
- Urinate more, which leads to a loss in electrolytes
- Increased risks of diseases like diarrhea, heat stroke, and at high enough temperatures (over 100), death
- Reduced egg production and shell quality
So what can you do to protect your poultry and your profit?
The Best strategy for Preserving Poultry House Profits in the Summer?
Keep Your Energy Costs Down!
Your greatest strategy for boosting your profits is to slash your energy costs. And the best way to do that is through solar energy.
Coastal Solar has helped dozens of poultry farmers install solar panels on their long flat roofs. Poultry farms are our specialty. No other solar installer has seen the potential for huge cost savings for poultry farms like we have.
Electricity from fans is your single greatest energy expense. And you can’t run your poultry farm without fans. The long-term savings you’ll make by using solar to cut your energy bill down by 70-90% can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size of your farm.
View poultry farm solar projects we’ve installed (click here, then the ‘Agriculture’ tab)
Our solar panels have a 25-year warranty. With REAP grants from the USDA and other tax incentives, many of our poultry farm customers have projected payback periods of less than 10 years. Some even as low as 5 years. That means you’ll have 15-20 years of warranty-protected free energy, and more after that.
Your savings will grow every year as you escape the ever-increasing rates on your energy bill.
Solar energy offers poultry farmers a permanent escape from the summer energy costs that put your profits in peril each year.
If you want to learn more or have a solar professional come out and give you a free quote, click the button below.