Time to Spring into Action…
I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe it’s already spring and we are nearly a quarter of the way through 2020. With parts of the South already having temps in the 80’s, it will be summer before we know it and this winter will be a distant memory. But, we in the agriculture industry know as this warmer weather approaches, it becomes our time to shine in this great country. As row-crop farmers finish their preparations to begin planting soon, we in the animal production segment of agriculture need to make sure we are ready as well.
With summer right around the corner, now is a great time to begin the “Spring Cleaning” of your poultry houses. Just like our homes, when houses sit closed for the most part over the last six months, they accumulate a lot of dust and unnecessary debris. All that excess dust can be very costly if not addressed. Did you know that a 1/8th inch of dust on a fan blade and shutter can reduce that fan’s performance by as much as 30%? Not to mention that the accumulated dust will act as insulation on the fan motor allowing it to not cool properly and causing it to overheat. And with all the condensation around fans during the wintertime, it doesn’t take long to get a 1/8th inch of dust built up. So, make sure to keep those fans dusted, and while you are dusting, it’s a good idea to blow off all your equipment to ensure it’s free of disease-carrying debris.
While we are on the topic of fans, you always want to be sure and change your fan belts every spring. Your tunnel fans are getting ready to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in some parts of the country. The last thing you want to have happen is a fan belt break on a Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock, when it’s 95-100 degrees outside and most stores are closed in rural America. That can be detrimental to not only your flock, but also your wallet. So, don’t “roll the dice”, go ahead and buy new belts for your fans, today. And hey, if some are not looking too weathered, maybe hang them on the wall in your control room to use as a backup in the event something does happen at an odd time of day.
To make sure all your fans are ready for the summer heat and running at tip top performance and efficiency ratings (directly saving on monthly power bills when they are typically highest.):
- Greasing bearings
- Check fan belts for dry rotting and
- Replace worn pulleys and tensioners
- Clean all shutters and dampers for maximized and efficient air flow
- Check drive shafts and bearings for “wobbling”
These critically impact your performance and savings throughout the summer months and beyond.
The next big thing that must be maintained properly are cool cells. If you are in a hot climate and are fortunate enough to have these on your chicken house, please make sure they are cleaned, flushed, and free of debris. Always be sure to follow your owner’s manual on how to properly clean your system, but my word of advice is to never use a pressure washer to clean them. That will greatly reduce your pad’s life and cause it to not operate properly.
Go ahead and get that head start on cleaning your cool cells:
- Get all the dirt, dust, feathers, algae, etc. dislodged and from your pads,
- Foam your pads with approved cleaners,
- Flush your systems out well.
This will prepare your farm for an immediate response for those hot days that suddenly appear and need these systems running at optimum performance to achieve less stress related issues on your flock of birds.
A little early spring cleaning can and will help prevent a loss in performance and money out of your pocket from the beginning. Don’t get caught trying to catch up. I encourage getting a head start and taking advantage of being ready as summertime is fast approaching. Stay safe and healthy this week and may God Bless you and your family during this inclement time. Thank you for feeding the world, Poultry Industry.
Poultry Sales Manager
Poultry Sales Manager
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