HOG SLAT BLOG – U.S.

North Carolina Chicken Farm Builds Family and Business 0

Mewborn farm entrance sign

Mewborn farm entrance sign

“These chicken houses are my family’s life; they’re our investment,” stated Wesley Mewborn. “As a new grower, I trusted the folks at Hog Slat to provide the right equipment and follow up service. So far, they haven’t let me down.”

Wesley with Hog Slat service tech Dewayne Dunn

Wesley with Hog Slat service tech Dewayne Dunn

After spending 13 years in the retail hardware business, Wesley, and his wife, Robin purchased land near Kenansville, NC and constructed six, 46′ x 600′ broiler houses in Oct 2014.

52" Windstorm Fans

52″ Windstorm Fans

A Hired Hand 4000 computer controls a total of 14 52″ galvanized Windstorm fans in each house along with winter air inlets. The arrival of warm weather begins the transition to evaporative cooling by opening the tunnel curtains and powering on the EVAP Cooling system.

GrowerSELECT feed line and Plasson ON-DEMAND drinker lines.

GrowerSELECT feed line and Plasson drinker line.

 

The houses feature two GrowerSELECT feed lines using Classic Flood pan feeders with extended fins. Water is provided by four drinker lines regulated with a Plasson Water-On-Demand system.

“Raising chickens really just comes down to providing good air, feed, and water,” Wesley explained. “The more time you spend in the houses making sure that happens, the better the final results. The equipment in my houses provide me with the tools to be successful.”

Farm with recent six house addition

Farm with recent six house addition in the background.

 

This spring, the Mewborn family added six more broiler houses to the farm. “We really didn’t change much,” Wesley said, “other than moving the brood area to the middle.”  We plan on installing the Hired Hand Farm Manager system to provide real-time remote monitoring. It will give me the ability to check conditions in the houses and even make changes when I’m not there. It ties into the Farm Alarm and notifies me when there’s a problem.”

Wesley and Lacy

Wesley and Macy

 

“Chicken farming is a great lifestyle for a family. My kids, Layla and Macy, come to the farm every day, and that means a lot. Robin and I feel like we are building a good business and good family.”

 

Ag Evaporative Cooling Systems Compared – Part 1, Troughs 0

Most commercial broiler farms utilize an evaporative system to provide cooling during hot weather.  Although there is no substitute for regular maintenance and cleaning, choosing the right system can reduce repairs.  We compare several key features of Hog Slat's Evap System against competitive brands.

Most commercial broiler farms utilize an evaporative system to provide cooling during hot weather. Although there is no substitute for regular maintenance and cleaning, choosing the right system can reduce repairs.  In part one, we compare Hog Slat’s trough design and features against competitive brands.

GreaterCapacity-600x300

Hog Slat’s Evap System features a square trough to increase the water reservoir by over 24% when compared to 8″ PVC pipe. This extra capacity allows water draining from the pads to be collected for re-circulation without overflowing. In a typical 80′ system this adds up to 168 gallons compared to only 128 gallons for an 8″ diameter PVC trough.

The trough cover is designed with more inches of open area to permit faster drainage away from the bottom on the pads.  If bottom of the pads remain saturated, they can get soft and in extreme cases sag and fall out of the system.

The Hog Slat trough cover is designed with more inches of open area to permit faster drainage away from the bottom of the pads. If the pad bottoms  remain saturated, they can get soft and in extreme cases sag and fall out of the system.  We show a comparison of  the amount of open area per linear foot of trough.

The most secure method for supporting the trough is to place the bottom directly on a concrete base.  This type of installation eliminates the need for support brackets.  The flat bottom of the Evap System sits directly on a concrete pad without additional supports.  Troughs with round bottoms such as a pipe or U-shaped troughs require the use brackets to hold them on the concrete.  The bottom doesn't sit directly on the concrete, with damage to the trough resulting from the brackets cutting into the plastic.

The most secure method for supporting the trough is to place the bottom directly on a concrete base. This type of installation eliminates the need for support brackets. The flat bottom of the Evap System sits directly on a concrete pad without additional supports.
Troughs with round bottoms such as a pipe or U-shaped troughs require the use brackets to hold them on the concrete. The bottom doesn’t sit directly on the concrete, with damage to the trough resulting from the brackets cutting into the plastic.

For installation requiring brackets, the Evap System design provides better support.  The heavy Bi-Fold bracket is a full four inches wide and spreads the bearing load over a greater area compare to single leg brackets.  The bracket also features two support legs instead of one to prevent twisting.

For installation requiring brackets, the Hog Slat design provides better support. The heavy Bi-Fold bracket is a full four inches wide and spreads the bearing load over a greater area compared to narrow  brackets. The bracket also features two support legs instead of one to prevent twisting.

Hog Slat's wide 4" bracket allows mounting on a 4x4 post when building framing lumber is not available or system is installed away from the building.

Hog Slat’s wide 4″ bracket allows mounting on a 4×4 post when building framing lumber is not available or system is installed away from the building.

Trough repairs are simple and leak free by using two couplers.  Repairs to round bottom trough is time-consuming and often leaks.

Trough repairs are simple and leak free by using two couplers. Repairs to round bottom trough are time-consuming and often results in leaks.

See Part 2, Pad & Fasteners

See Part 3, Pumps & Sumps

Ag Evaporative Cooling Systems Compared – Part 2, Pad and Fasteners 0

Most commercial broiler farms utilize an evaporative system to provide cooling during hot weather.  Although there is no substitute for regular maintenance and cleaning, choosing the right system can reduce repairs.  We compare several key features of Hog Slat's Evap System against competitive brands.

Most commercial broiler farms utilize an evaporative system to provide cooling during hot weather. Although there is no substitute for regular maintenance and cleaning, choosing the right system can reduce repairs. In part 2, we compare pad, distribution and fasteners of Hog Slat’s Evap System against competitive brands.

The Evap System features a large capacity spray bar with more holes per running foot to reduce pad streaking.  Attaching the sections with bell connectors eliminates the dry areas in the pad common with coupled spray bars.

The Evap System features a large capacity spray bar with more holes per running foot to reduce pad streaking. Attaching the sections with bell connectors eliminates the dry areas in the pad common with coupled spray bars.

Pad saturation is enhanced because the top deflector angles the water flow to the outside of the pad.  By directing the water to the outside surface, the water is pulled through the pad wetting the full 6" width.  Designs with the water deposited in the middle of the pad may not utilize the entire pad.

Pad saturation is enhanced because the top deflector angles the water flow to the outside of the pad. By directing the water to the outside surface, the water is pulled through the pad wetting the full 6″ width. Designs with the water deposited in the middle of the pad may not utilize the entire pad.

The Hog Slat system features three robust, easy-to-remove, Tri-Knob nuts with brass inserts to hold each aluminum pad retainer in place.  Each section of the deflector and pad retainer is joined with connector clips to prevent dips or bows in the installation.

The Hog Slat system features three robust, easy-to-remove, Tri-Knob nuts with brass inserts to hold each aluminum pad retainer in place. Each section of the deflector and pad retainer is joined with connector clips to prevent dips or bows in the installation.

Manufactured from heavyweight Saturation Grade Kraft paper for high absorption rate and glued with proprietary resins mixed with additives for fire resistance and fungus protection. H2PAD pad is then triple cured in precisely controlled ovens and cut to exact lengths.  3/4" ProTec edging extends pad life by protecting against UV and mechanical damage.  Additional ProTec coating is available on the pad bottoms to guard against premature damage.

Manufactured from heavyweight Saturation Grade Kraft paper for high absorption rate and glued with proprietary resins mixed with additives for fire resistance and fungus protection. H2PAD pad is then triple cured in precisely controlled ovens and cut to exact lengths. 3/4″ ProTec edging extends pad life by protecting against UV and mechanical damage. Additional ProTec coating is available on the pad bottoms to guard against premature damage.

See Part 1, Troughs

See Part 3, Pumps & Sumps

Ag Evaporative Cooling Systems Compared – Part 3, Pumps & Sumps 0

Most commercial broiler farms utilize an evaporative system to provide cooling during hot weather.  Although there is no substitute for regular maintenance and cleaning, choosing the right system can reduce repairs.  We compare several key features of Hog Slat's Evap System against competitive brands.

Most commercial broiler farms utilize an evaporative system to provide cooling during hot weather. Although there is no substitute for regular maintenance and cleaning, choosing the right system can reduce repairs. In part 3, we compare  pump and sump tanks options for Hog Slat’s Evaporative System.

The jet pump system has several advantages starting with an open drip proof; air cooled motor that does not have to operate in water.  Repairs are less expensive because a jet pump has two components, the motor can be replaced separately from the impeller assembly.  Repairs are easier with a jet pump as the assembly is above ground, and you don't have to pull the pump out of a sump like a submersible pump to perform repairs. The strainer basket protects the impeller assembly from debris.

The jet pump system has several advantages starting with an open, drip proof, air cooled motor that does not have to operate in water. Repairs are less expensive because a jet pump has two components; the motor can be replaced separately from the impeller assembly. Repairs are easier with a jet pump because the assembly is above ground, and you don’t have to pull the pump out of a sump tank like a submersible pump to perform repairs. The strainer basket protects the impeller assembly from debris.

 Side discharge design delivers high volumes than competitors center discharge pumps so water reaches the ends of long pad runs.  3/4 hp pump is available in 115 or 230 models.

Side discharge design delivers higher volumes than competitors center discharge pumps so water reaches the ends of long pad runs. 3/4 hp pump is available in 115V or 230V models.

The Hog Slat pump is specially designed for cool cell system application and not just adapted from other industries.  Re-designed vortex impeller results in lower head pressure and higher volume, the result is an efficient 1/2 hp. pumps with the same output as normal 3/4 hp. submersible pumps.

The Hog Slat submersible pump is specially designed for cool cell system applications and not just adapted from other industries. Re-designed vortex impeller produces lower head pressure and higher water volume, resulting in an efficient 1/2 hp pump with the same output as normal 3/4 hp submersible pumps.

The Hog Slat tank design does not require it to buried in the ground like conventional T-Tank sumps.  On systems where trough height determines an above ground installation the tank will set directly on a concrete pad. For below ground installations, the Evap System tank features a molded lower lip with a rounded profile to help prevent it from "floating" out of saturated ground when the tank is empty.

The Hog Slat sump tank design does not require it to buried in the ground like conventional T-Tank sumps. On systems where trough height permits an above ground installation, the tank will set directly on a concrete pad. For below ground installations, the Evap System sump tank features a molded lower lip with a rounded bottom profile to help prevent it from “floating” out of saturated ground when the tank is empty.

See Part 1, Troughs

See Part 2, Pad & Fasteners 

 

Poultry Industry Basic to Building The Family Business 0

Gene and Phyllis Williams

Gene and Phyllis Williams

“The chicken business works good with land and cattle,” Gene Williams commented as he looked out across the pasture next to his farm outside of Everett Springs, GA. “The land gives you a place to spread the litter; the chicken litter builds up the pastures, and the poultry checks provide a steady income when cattle prices are tough.”

Gene and Phyllis Williams have included poultry farming in building their family’s business for over 40 years. Starting with a registered Angus herd, they expanded into the poultry business by leasing two breeder houses in 1975, followed by building three new broiler houses in 1978. In 1994, the family business grew to include The Calhoun Stockyard, and again when oldest son Michael and his wife Shelby made the decision to build four new broiler houses in 2003.

 

Their middle son, Adam, and wife Jenny moved back to the farm in 2013. In 2014, the two older sons joined with younger brother, Jacob, and his wife Natalie, to purchase a neighboring land tract to form the Circle W Ranch entity. Central to this expansion was the construction of eight 66′ x 600′ broiler houses, each capable of holding 62,000 birds per flock.

Circle W Ranch with Eight 66′ Wide Broiler Houses near Everett Springs, GA.

The tunnel ventilated houses feature Windstorm 54″ exhaust fans, Hog Slat EVAP Systems, and TEGO tunnel doors, regulated by a Rotem control system. The GrowerSELECT feed system utilizes Classic Flood feed pans along with supplemental feeders in the brooder section. One notable feature is a dedicated feed line with Hi-Grow feeders, used for the first ten days of a new flock and then winched up out of the way. Also, a special hanger line above each feed line permits storage of the Hi-Grow feeders inside the house.

Windstorm 54″ fans power the ventilation system. Shown with winter fan covers to reduce energy loss.

TEGO tunnel doors seal up ventilation openings and direct air up and across to promote mixing.

TEGO tunnel doors seal up cool cell openings and direct air up and across the ceiling to promote proper mixing.

 

Dedicated starter line in raised position with feeders attached

Black arrow highlights dedicated starter line in raised position with feeders attached

The dedicated feed line for supplemental feeding in the brood area.

Still actively involved in the daily farming operations, Gene and Phyllis continue to influence the education and work ethic of the ten grandchildren joining the family workforce.

WilliamsFamily_web

Three generations of the Williams family.