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Energy expenditure is the second highest expense for the contract poultry producers
after the house mortgages, and is continuously on the rise. Energy related retrofits
on a broiler farm can be expensive, and poultry growers need help in the on-farm energy
use assessment or audit in order to apply for financial assistance programs. The University
of Arkansas Poultry Farm Energy Use Evaluation program conducts farm energy audits
for contract poultry producers in Arkansas. For details of the program please contact
Dr. Yi Liang (firstname.lastname@example.org, 479-575-4862).
Broiler farms use electricity to power ventilation fans, artificial lights and small
motors for feeders, etc. It is important to know your current energy usage in order
to evaluate the magnitude of any energy efficiency improvement. The amount of electricity
used varied considerably among the producers (see figure 1 below). The amount of electricity
used is converted to per unit weight of broiler produced. Farms raising heavier birds
tend to incur higher annual electricity than those raising lighter birds. The types
of light lamps greatly determine electricity consumption.
To determine it, divide the total kWh used during a two year period (to account for
any year-to-year fluctuation), by the pound of live weight produced over the two years.
Then multiply by 1,000. The high variation shown in the following graph (range of
20 to 83 kWh/1,000 pound of broiler sold, with mean of 44) indicates that opportunities
exist for a farm to cut down electricity consumption.
The most cost-effective measure to reduce the electrical consumption is to upgrade
to energy efficient lamps.
Figure 1. Electrical use by selected Arkansas farms
Poultry farms in the southern United States use either liquid propane or natural gas
to heat the houses. It is important to know your current energy usage in order to
evaluate the magnitude of any reduction. The amount of fuel consumption varies by
geographic location of the farms (see figure 2 below). Annual fuel consumption was
higher on farms in northern counties than those in southern counties.
To determine your fuel consumption, divide the total gallon of propane or CCF (hundred
cubic feet) of natural gas used during a two year period (to account for any year-to-year
fluctuation), by the pound of live weight produced. Then multiply by 1,000. Again
the high variation shown in the following graph (range of 2.0 to 10.5 gallon/1,000
pound of broiler sold, with mean of 5.8) indicates that opportunities exist for a
farm to cut down fuel consumption. Common measures that could reduce cost of heating
include tightening and increasing insulation of the barns, installing circulation
Figure 2. Fuel use by selected Arkansas farms
Estimating Fuel Savings by Ceiling Fans Installation