Story in Brief
Broiler house design has improved greatly over the last 30 years to meet the requirements of modern broilers. As a result, environmental conditions can be controlled much more closely with outside weather conditions having less of an effect. Management of these houses is complex and a lack of understanding of basic principles invariably has a negative influence on poultry performance and results in higher operation costs. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the annual workshop by UGA poultry scientists for flock supervisors. Instead, 13 webinars on hot weather poultry ventilation and management were offered. These webinars covered topics that focused on optimum ventilation rates to reduce energy costs while providing conditions for broiler comfort and growth during hot weather. Attendance in Spring 2020 averaged 1,000 people per webinar, representing 30 states and 70 countries. After receiving this training, flock supervisors who may have 20-25 farms each are better equipped to address their growers' issues and questions. Depending on the management practices, savings of 10 to 35 percent in fuel usage have been observed. Conservative estimates of the economic impact resulting from lower fuel and electricity usage plus improved livability, growth, feed efficiency and yields exceed $ 2.4 million annually in Georgia annually.