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Air Wall Cuts Heating Costs In Poultry Barn
“Heating my 400-ft. long poultry barn when I only used about two-thirds of it for little chicks was wasting propane gas and costing me a lot of money,” says Jon Steenbeek of Varna, Ont. “To solve the problem I installed an inflatable Smart Air Wall that reduced my propane costs by $2,300, more than 50 percent.”
  The air wall is 28 in. wide and easily pressurized to form a tight seal to the floor, walls and ceiling of his poultry barn. Its design, technology and materials is the same as that used on inflatable kids bouncing rings seen at carnivals and fast food play rooms.
  Steenbeek imported the wall from Sidijk, a manufacturing company in Holland. It was custom made for his broiler barn, which is 64 ft. wide with a 13 ft. 6 in. high cathedral ceiling. “The wall came packed in a roll so all I had to do was unroll it, install the support tubes, raise the wall to the ceiling with a rope and pulleys, hook up the air blower and turn it on. In half an hour the wall was in place. The blower that inflates the wall runs continually with power from a 1.3 hp motor.”
  If the power goes out for some reason the ropes will hold the wall in place at the ceiling and keep it from falling on the young chicks. The base of Steenbeek’s wall has indentations with covering sleeves so it straddles feeder and watering lines. There are also flaps to keep young chicks from getting underneath.
  Steenbeek added two custom features that make his installation especially unique. First he built a wooden plenum at one end of the wall with a door to access the area of his building that’s partitioned off. A fan above the plenum vents into the open section and allows him to preheat that section before he removes the wall when the chicks need additional room. He also hired an Amish blacksmith to build a large aluminum reel that will roll up the deflated wall when it needs to be removed. The reel is mounted on rubber wheels with a handle so Steenbeek can pull the 400-lb. wall through a regular sized walkway for storage.
  Steenbeek says the original idea for the wall came from a poultry farmer in the Netherlands. The complete setup including the blower, pulleys and sleeves to cover the water and feed lines cost about $15,000. The storage reel cost him about $1,500.
   Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jon Steenbeek, Varna, Ont., Canada (ph 519 955-4606).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #4