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Over the years, structural building practices for commercial poultry houses have improved dramatically. Dennis Brothers, a poultry houseing specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, says the downside is that there are literally thousands of poultry houses that were constructed before the latest, strongest engineered house designs were even conceived.

These older houses if still in operation can be profitable, and it is imperative for growers to maintain them well to maximize their investment. With current poultry production profit margins being very tight, it can be economically very difficult, if not impossible, for a grower with these older houses to make any substantial improvements to the structural integrity of their existing houses.

Brothers says one exception is the addition of steel knee braces to the typical wood framed, wood truss poultry house. Many existing wood frame and wood truss houses have been retro-fitted with steel knee braces. However, there are many still lacking this addition.

The recent tornado activity in Blount County, Alabama presented a unique opportunity to see the differing results from non-braced houses compared to braced houses. The addition of steel knee braces can normally be done for about $3,000 or less in a typical 500 foot long commercial poultry house. This amount may seem steep to a “strapped for cash” poultry grower. However, this video shows how similarly built, similarly aged houses handle storms totally differently based almost solely on the addition of braces. The video can show growers that this retro-fit is worth the money and effort.

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Contact Brothers or any member of the National Poultry Technology Center team for more information on upgrading existing poultry houses or building new houses using the newest engineered design techniques.

Dennis L. Brothers

Poultry Housing Specialist

Auburn University – National Poultry Technology Center

415 5th Ave. E. , Suite A

Oneonta, AL   35121

(205)456-0414 – cell

(205)274-2129 – ofc


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