Various heating systems are being utilized in poultry barns. Gas-, propane- or electric-fired hot water systems with 2-inch diameter black-iron pipes suspended on either the barn walls or ceiling are a common system in North America for all types of poultry housing.
Hot water floor heat has also been tried in some broiler barns. Flueless gas or propane-fired space heaters are a common source of heat in some newer barns. Other sources of heat for some specialized applications include electric space heaters, gas-fired hooded brooders, and gas- or propane-fired infrared heaters.
The report Radiant Tube Heaters for Poultry Houses from the U.S. Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service includes heating capacity calculations for typical 40 x 500 foot poultry houses heated by forced-air and radiant tube. Under their calculations, a typical house of that size would require a heating capacity of approximately 630,000 Btu (older house with forced-air); 302,000 Btu (modern house with forced-air); and 285,000 Btu (modern house with radiant tube). These figures could vary depending on size of the poultry house, climate and other factors. See the report for details.