Skov A/S has entered into an agreement to supply complete Combi-Tunnel ventilation systems to a farm of seven poultry production sites, each of them comprising six houses. The farm, which is situated north of Adelaide in Blanchetown, South Australia, with 42 houses will be the largest free-range production operation in the world.

The farm is owned and operated by Santrev, which is primarily known for construction of poultry houses in Australia and Asia. Production of free-range broilers is carried out for Inghams Enterprises.

The first twelve houses, each with a capacity of approximately 40,000 free-range broilers, are under construction and they are expected to be built and commissioned within the next eighteen months.

“Santrev has been our partner for many years and we have supplied ventilation systems and farm management to many of their livestock house construction projects for conventional broiler production over time, said Arne Overgaard, Skov area sales manager.

Focus on free range production of broilers has increased across the world in recent years which means that there is also an increased focus on production systems for free-range broilers.

“Quite recently, Skov A/S has developed and tested a new ventilation principle for free-range production. From a ventilation viewpoint, the challenge lies in having an open production environment, where we do not have full control of the livestock house environment,” continued Overgaard.

Skov system provides access to free-range areas

The Skov system is fully automatic and can open and close doors (pop-holes) providing access to the free-range areas. The system primarily applies natural ventilation when the broilers occupy the free-range areas and ventilates according to the Combi-Tunnel principle when the broilers are inside the livestock house and the doors are closed.

“It will, in many cases, however, also be necessary to ventilate mechanically when the doors are open, as there may for example still be a great number of birds inside the livestock house. When that is the case, we regulate the climate in the livestock house based on the temperature of the air as well as humidity and CO2 levels, said Overgaard.

Exhaust units positioned in the roof construction are applied for air outlet. This ensures that the system can provide natural ventilation for a great deal of the time when the doors are open. But it is also possible to open the wall inlets and ventilate mechanically via fans in the exhaust units. Furthermore, the livestock house climate is adjusted using high-pressure cooling.