Proper Animal Ventilation During the Winter

As the seasons shift, and it certainly feels like they’re shifting ensuring optimal ventilation becomes a crucial consideration for farmers in maintaining healthy livestock during the winter, livestock controlled environments extension specialist with the University of Wisconsin Nesli Akdeniz says ventilation in winter isn’t just about keeping animals warm. It’s about safeguarding their health. And there are a few different challenges that come with winter barn ventilation.

In winter we want to make sure that there is enough air exchange to prevent the accumulation of moisture. The ammonia may be pathogens that may cause health problems in animals. So this is one challenge. How do we do it? And other challenges in winter? We lower the ventilation rates and then we are providing only a little bit fresh air inside the barn and distributing this fresh air evenly to each stall or pen in a cost barn is a challenge. So in calf barn sometimes we use solar panels to prevent rafts and coarse threads. So we want to make sure that each can receive some fresh air.

There are two types of ventilation that farmers can use. She talks about deciding which is best for your operation.

(It) depends on the design of the barn. If it is a mechanically-ventilated building, if there are no side curtains, then they can only lower the ventilation rates, but some of them are designed as a hybrid. So if there are curtains, I think it is a good idea to have the little ventilation in.

During the winter, it’s important to calculate the proper air exchange in your barn to prevent the buildup of moisture or ammonia.

So our goal rule is four to six eight exchanges per hour. So it really depends on the volume of the barn, but we recommend to have a minimum a minimum of four ad exchanges per hour. So the whole barn air should change four times in one hour.

Having these systems in place isn’t enough. Proper maintenance is also key to preventing ventilating bad air to your animals.

So it is always a good idea. If it’s the mechanically ventilated barn, it’s always good idea to keep the ventilation fence clean. So that’s a simulation may reduce the pen efficiency 30%. So when we think we were thinking that we are providing enough air we may not be providing enough air to the barn. So rule number one keep the ventilation vents clean.