Pre-heating litter

Photo of young chicks sitting comfortably on litter.

Pre-heating the floor and litter in the brooding area before placement is as important as heating the air to the correct temperature for the health and comfort of young chicks. It also prevents water condensing in the litter.

If the temperature of the floor is below the dew point, condensation will form in the litter. This will compromise the litter from day one of the growth cycle. It will increase the risk of litter compaction and caking, and slow drying rates.

Litter temperature at chick placement should be around 30 °C (plus or minus 2 °C depending on processor requirements and strain of meat chicken). The floor temperature needs to be within about 3–4 °C of this to avoid condensation forming within the litter.

Watch the pre-heating litter video below to see how cold floors can affect chicks and litter moisture, and how to dry wet bedding before placement.

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