The approximately 100,000 poultry houses across the United States each use about 4,000 gallons of propane annually to keep brooding chicks warm. Improving efficiency of radiant brooders by just 5 percent across the industry would save about 20 million gallons of propane per year, according to John Linhoss, an animal environment specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Linhoss, who was quoted at Mississippi Agricultural News, took on the topic for his doctorate.
The savings would total about $30 million. The research illustrated the exacting and significant demands of the chicks, which need to be kept at about 92 degrees during their first day or so of their lives. A significant discovery of the research is that as much as 50 percent of the heat in most coops today is misdirected and wasted. Reducing this waste can go a long way towards energy savings and cost reductions for the industry.
The New York Times in February featured an interview with Stephen Cassell, an architect who designed a modern chicken coop featuring radiant heating and other amenities.