Humidity in a chicken house is a critical factor – many small farmers concentrate on the temperature of the chicken house only – this is a mistake and chicken farmers should learn what, and how, relative humidity can affect how the chickens eat and therefore their growth rate. To measure the humidity in a poultry house, a Wet Dry thermometer is used. The humidity should never go above 80%.
Humidity in a poultry houses can be controlled by using the curtains and fans. Although if it is a very humid day it can be very difficult. The temperature may not be high, so you may not even notice the humidity. At least when your chickens are too hot you will see them panting – the chickens themselves create a humid atmosphere just by breathing, add to that the dampness sometimes found in a chicken houses from leaking nipples, the damp litter, and a bit of heat – the humidity can rise very quickly.
Optimum temperatures for layers and broilers
The critical temperature for laying hens is 20oC. For every degree the temperature drops below 20oC, the hens will need 1.5 g of extra feed per day. The most effective temperature for a layer house is fbetween 20oC – 24oC. When the temperatures rises above 24oC, the shell qualitydecreases and the egg weights drop.
|Day Old Chicks first day||32-34oC|
|1st week drop to||30oC|
|2nd week drop to||26oC|
|3rd week drop to||22oC|
|4th week drop to||20oC|
Humidity in low temperatures can be dangerous – it can lead to all sorts of respiritory problems. The other tools in the poultry farmers arsenal are the gas heaters, the poultry fans and the winched poultry curtains – with these 3 pieces of poultry equipment – and a min max thermometer, a chicken farmer will be able to maintain temperature and humidity in the poultry house. A Wet Dry thermometer can be purchased from Chicken Shack Agencies.