The Influence of Litter on Thermal Conditions inside a Broiler House

Grzegorz Nawalany, Waclaw Bieda


The paper presents an analysis of the following measurements: litter temperature (QL), indoor air temperature (Qi) and ground temperature during the winter and summer broiler production cycles in real operating conditions of a mass scale broiler farm. The assessment of thermal conditions in the broiler living zone is widened by the parameter of operative temperature (Qo), taking into consideration not only Qi but also QL – the only partition that comes in direct contact with the birds.

The paper also presents the percentage division of the researched area depending on the difference between optimal air temperature (Qopt) and litter temperature (QL) in the winter and summer production cycle. This is considered for three variations: QL < Qopt – 10-14-day period at the beginning of the production cycle characterized by the feeling of cold; QL = Qopt – middle and short period of thermal comfort and QL > Qopt – the longest, approx. 4-week period with the feeling of heat surplus. Daily fluctuation of QL =5-11 K in the winter season is much larger than in the summer season QL =1-3 K. Higher daily amplitude of QL favorably influences physical activity of birds and their thermal comfort.

Moreover, the work describes the character of heat exchange between the litter and the ground, which from week 3 of the production cycle is favorable for thermal conditions by limiting the increase of QL to 33-34oC.

It is the authors’ opinion that taking into consideration QL, the only partition that comes in direct contact with the birds, in the development of thermal conditions within the broiler living zone will inevitably lead to the improvement of breeding technology, which would answer to birds’ thermal preferences at various stages of the production cycle.

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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