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Why Solar Ventilation is Important
The more time chickens spend indoors the more proper ventilation becomes crucial to the health of your flock and the quality of the eggs they produce. The better the quality of air inside your hen houses, the better off your birds will be. Solar Powered Ventilation allows you to easily provide adequate ventilation without any operating cost. Our ventilation fans do not require electricity or assembly, comes ready to use right out of the box. With no wiring or hookups of any kind, they are easy to install and only require a little sunlight to operate.
    6 Reasons for Ventilating Your Hen House
    • Supplies Fresh Air
    • Removes Heat Released During Breathing
    • Removes Moisture from the Air (From Birds Breathing & Droppings)
    • Removes Harmful Gases (Carbon Dioxide & Ammonia)
    • Removes Dust Particles Suspended in the Air
    • Dilutes Disease-Causing Organisms in the Air
The Effects of Excessive Humidity, Heat & Moisture
Image from Poultry Engineering, Economics & Management Newsletter
Issue 40, March 2006, Auburn University High relative humidity and high litter moisture cause poor air quality and slick conditions in the hen house, which hurts flock performance in many ways, including causing poor paw quality. (Shown in Picture: Left) Excessive moisture combined with high heat can be devastating to your bird's health and productivity.

A chickenís body operates most efficiently at room temperatures between 70į and 75įF (21-24įC). When body temperature rises birds eat less. For each degree higher they eat one percent less. This leads to a drop in average weight gain, when that happens egg production may increase slightly however the eggs become smaller and have thinner shells.

Fresh air reduces the buildup of mold and airborne diseases. Good ventilation keeps the air in motion and removes suspended dust and moisture. Moisture levels in a hen house can be very high because chickens breathe rapidly, using more air in proportion to their size than any other animal. Ventilation is the only way to take gallons of excess moisture out of a poultry house.

Ammonia Buildup
The effects of ammonia on bird health has been well documented. Ammonia damages birdís ability to expel foreign material such as dust and bacteria leaving your birds more susceptible to infection and disease such as bronchitis. Ammonia buildup can also severely burn skin and lead to runt birds.

Ammonia gas dissolves in fluid around the eyes causing lopsided shape of eyes, watery eyes, facial swelling, and even blindness . Symptoms of ammonia-induced conjunctivitis are rubbing the eye with a wing and reluctance to move or go into sunlight. High Levels of ammonia can also damage a birdís respiratory tract allowing bacteria, dust and viruses travel down the tract causing infection and disease. If it is concentrated enough to cause these problems, you should be able to smell it. It is important to know that flock performance will be hurt long before ammonia levels get high enough to actually blind birds, and usually before you will be able to smell a dangerous level of ammonia in the hen house.

To check the level of ammonia in your coop, bend down until your head is at the same level of your chickenís head. Breathe normally for a few moments. If your eyes, nose, or throat begin to burn, the ammonia level is too high for your birds. You may also notice thicker cobwebs, this is also a sign that ammonia levels are too high. You must decrease litter moisture and increase your ventilation to reduce gas buildup. Once you have made the necessary changes, birds affected by the ammonia fumes should get better. It is best to be proactive by regularly cleaning out litter and providing proper ventilation.

Poultry Engineering, Economics & Management Newsletter Issue 40, March 2006 & Issue 19, September 2002 Auburn University in cooperation with The US Poultry & Egg & Alabama Poultry & Egg Associations
Building Chicken Coops & the Chicken Health Handbook, Author Gail Damerow

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