LSU AgCenter poultry demonstration houses get chicks

Mary Ann Van Osdell, Owens, William E.  |  1/4/2011 1:08:18 AM

News Release Distributed 08/09/10

HOMER, La. – The LSU AgCenter has started receiving birds in two commercial-sized broiler demonstration houses at the Hill Farm Research Station.

The houses will be used to test and demonstrate different types of heating equipment, said Bill Owens, Hill Farm resident coordinator.

With alternative heating and energy savings as big concerns among poultry growers, one house is equipped with radiant tube heating, and the other is heated by standard radiant brooders, Owens said.

Among production variables to be evaluated will be feed conversion rates and chick growth, along with monitoring ammonia and odor levels and energy and water use.

“We will look at the weight to see if the target is achieved in the proper length of time,” Owens said. “We are proud to be involved with the poultry industry and help the growers of Louisiana learn about equipment and procedures that will help them be more efficient and profitable.”

The LSU AgCenter is contracting with Raeford Farms of Louisiana, whose service technicians will visit the LSU AgCenter facility regularly and evaluate it just as they would do for other growers, to assure the operation is following the company’s management guidelines, Owens said.

Each building currently houses 21,400 birds, which arrived the last week of July.

Owens said a web camera will be installed eventually so people can view the operation.

Poultry production is Louisiana’s largest animal industry and the second largest segment of Louisiana’s agricultural industries. The total value of Louisiana poultry production during 2009 was $884 million, when 800 million pounds of broiler meat were produced.

More than 2,000 broiler houses operate in the parishes of Sabine, Natchitoches, Lincoln, Union, Jackson, Claiborne, Winn, Webster, Bienville, Vernon and Ouachita.

Mary Ann Van Osdell

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