LSU AgCenter tests broiler house heating
The LSU AgCenter is raising nearly 43,000 chickens to see how much energy is used by different types of heating equipment - and whether birds grow better in either.
Bill Owens, resident coordinator of Hill Farm Research Station in Homer, says one 21,400-bird broiler house is heated by standard radiant brooders and the other with radiant tube heating.
He'll look at energy and water use, growth rates, and ammonia and odor levels.
Louisiana growers produced 800 million pounds of broiler meat last year and the business brought in $884 million, making it Louisiana's largest animal industry and its second-largest agricultural industry.
More than 2,000 broiler houses operate in Sabine, Natchitoches, Lincoln, Union, Jackson, Claiborne, Winn, Webster, Bienville, Vernon and Ouachita parishes.