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Dual Benefits For Energy Conservation Measures In Turkey Farming: MI Turkey Farm Increases Energy Efficiency and Turkey Conditions Simultaneously

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1801509.(doi:10.13031/aim.201801509)
Authors:   Jessica A Mehall, Aryn A Thomas, Jacqueline T Thelen, Aluel S Go
Keywords:   Animal housing, barns, benefit, energy conservation, light emitting diodes, Michigan, turkeys

Abstract. After having a farm energy audit conducted, GDW Turkey Farms of Ottawa County, Michigan decided to pursue energy conservation measures (ECMs). One finisher barn was upgraded with ECMs while the other was left as a control. In the test barn, GDW implemented 5 different ECMs GDW‘s biggest change was replacing all of their high pressure sodium (HPS) lights with LEDs. This saved energy and benefitted the turkeys. Since the color output of the LEDs can be adjusted, young birds are exposed to red light, increasing their rate of gain. In the test barn, the birds experienced a rate of gain of 0.337 lbs/day, versus 0.307 lbs/day in the control. Older, more aggressive birds are exposed to blue light, calming them down and making them more comfortable. Since these birds were more comfortable, they had a lower feed conversion, 2.32 lb feed/lb turkey in the test barn, versus 2.45 lb feed/lb turkey in the control. The test barn‘s box heaters were also replaced with radiant tube heaters. This project eliminated 3 million BTUs, or about 880 kWh, of unnecessary energy consumption since instillation. It also resulted in drier bedding since the heaters add less moisture to the interior of the barn. The use of radiant heaters decreased the occurrence of breast blister on the turkeys, increasing profits. The results from the test barn have demonstrated that ECMs can save energy, trim costs, and benefit turkeys. ECMs created a healthier environment, which increases farm profits by minimizing the amount of meat condemned.

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