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Ventilation Option Modeling for Laying Hens in Cage-free Environment: Three-Dimensional Case

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

Citation:  2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1801613.(doi:10.13031/aim.201801613)
Authors:   Long Chen, Eileen Fabian-Wheeler, Dan Hofstetter
Keywords:   Poultry, House, Temperature, Air velocity, Ventilation, Cage-free, Modeling, Computation Fluid Dynamics, CFD, Three-Dimension

Abstract. Practical recommendations are being developed for modern hen housing ventilation systems by working with commercial builders and poultry company management. Poultry facilities are going through evolution in design due to growing demands for cage-free products. However, no unified guidelines for these facilities have been established to accommodate these transitions. The goal of this study is to help builders and egg producers find an improved ventilation design to provide bird comfort and productivity within cage-free production. The method for evaluation is simulation of poultry house environment via Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). This paper outlines the development of a three-dimensional model of a commercial floor-raised cage-free hen house to document current conditions and preliminary findings for exploring options for ventilation improvements. A one-eighth barn section was modeled at full-scale with realistic geometry and representative animal shapes accompanied with existing ventilation schemes. Contours of airflow and temperature were generated to visualize simulation results. Three two-dimensional cross sections were chosen to visualize the pattern of air circulation and air movements inside and outside the barn at three representative locations. Compared to previous two-dimensional modeling, three-dimensional modeling delivered a more realistic scenario with more reasonable outputs, which can be applied to additional cage-free housing designs. For animal welfare concerns and disease spread control, deeper and more realistic investigations are being conducted in three-dimensions based on this simulation.

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