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Economic Analysis of Combining Partial House Brooding and Use of Off-Peak Energy for Poultry Production

Van Wicklen, Garrett L., Brown, Robert H.
Applied engineering in agriculture 1989 v.5 no.1 pp. 91-98
birds, brooders, concrete, electric power, energy, liquid petroleum gas, operating costs, poultry, poultry production, prices, slabs
Two alternatives to brooding poultry are presented that use off-peak electric energy and partial house brooding. System I uses electric heating mats embedded in a floor of concrete slabs, while System II circulates heated water through a network of PVC pipe resting on the litter surface. The predicted costs of the alternative systems were compared to the cost of LP gas brooding with pancake brooders using 1986 energy use data from curtain sidewall broiler housing in Georgia. LP gas brooding had lower operating costs than the two alternative brooding systems if LP gas was available at $0.12/L ($.45/gal) assuming off-peak electric energy was available at $0.035/kWh. If the price of LP gas were at its 1985 average of $0.23/L ($0.85/gal), System I would have predicted savings of $6.70/1000 birds over LP gas brooding, while System II would have predicted savings of $8.14/1000 birds. If the off-peak electric rate was $0.035/kWh, LP gas prices of $0.28/L ($1.05/gal) and $0.22/L ($0.84/gal) would be necessary to pay back installation and interest costs of Systems I and II, respectively, in 5 years.