HOG SLAT BLOG – U.S.

North Carolina Broiler Farm Retro Improves Performance 0

Rodney and Brett Bowden with new Airstorm 54" fan

Rodney and Brett Bowden with new Airstorm 54″ fan

To the best of my knowledge, when we built them in 1989, these were the first tunnel/natural ventilated houses constructed in the state,” explained Rodney Bowden at his family farm near Clinton, NC.  “We’ve always had good results in the buildings, but the recent upgrades have improved our performance.”

Rodney added two GrowerSELECT 54″ AirStorm fans per house to increase airspeed and reduce the ambient temperature.  The durable AirStorm 54″ fans feature a fiberglass housing, plastic shutters, and a stainless steel prop.

GrowerSELECT Classic Flood feed pans

GrowerSELECT Classic Flood feed pans

The next step in the upgrade was to replace the original feed pans with GrowerSELECT Classic Flood feeders. Rodney said, “Installing the new pans helps minimize wasted feed when the birds are young and has improved my feed conversion during grow out.”

Bowden-control-pan(web)These investments have paid off with an increased bird performance and helped Rodney settle in first place among his group several times since the upgrade.

Click GrowerSELECT for more information about our quality feeding and ventilation systems.  

Cage-Free Eggs…56 Years Ago 0

I recently had a chance to look through some old books of my father’s and ran across The Yearbook of Agriculture, 1960 edition called Power to Produce. The forward from this book reads:

“The value of this book is to bring into sharp focus the technological revolution that is now changing not only agriculture but our way of life.”  and “we must make the most of the extra food technological advances provide.

In the middle of the book, I found these two images. Black and white photos of the latest in 1960 agricultural technology for laying hens. It looks a lot like current “cage-free” egg production to me.

1960's style aviary?

1960’s style aviary?

 

Floyd Smith, Waseon, Ohio, shown in the photograph above, demonstrates how dry the litter is in his poultry house when temperatures were below zero degrees outside and about 55° F inside. The insulated windows make the most of the wintertime sunshine to reduce moisture and keep temperatures even.

 The pole-type, prefabricated-steel laying house pictured below has a slat floor, mechanized feeder, fiberglass insulation, and an interior lining of corrugated galvanized steel sheets.  The central ridge ventilator with turnabout fans supply up to 6 c.f.m. per bird.  The building is 48 by 64 feet, has an egg room and work room 12 by 32 feet.

 

Check the nests mounted to the wall.

Check the nests mounted to the wall.

This was the time period when augers to fill feeders and automated water systems were the latest technology and began to replace hand labor. Confinement systems were beginning to be developed to allow fewer farmers to provide more food to a growing urban population.

Hog Slat and Georgia Poultry are in the business of providing egg producers with the latest options for producing “cage-free” eggs.  Give us a call today at 800-949-4647.

Potter's Nests at Yuppie Hill Poultry

Potter’s Nests at Yuppie Hill Poultry

 

 

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