Send to

Choose Destination
Poult Sci. 2001 Dec;80(12):1723-8.

Supplementary dim light differentially influences sexual maturity, oviposition time, and melatonin rhythms in pullets.

Author information

Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford, United Kingdom.


The addition of two 3-h periods of very dim light, one before and one after a normal 8-h photoperiod, advances sexual maturity in pullets by about a week. This trial tested the hypothesis that dim light given before a short day of normal intensity is linked to form a more stimulatory day length and that dim light given after it is photosexually ignored. Pullets were reared from 2 d of age on 8-h photoperiods. From 10 wk, they were continued on 8-h photoperiods, transferred to 16 h, or given an 8-h period of dim light (0.09 lx) immediately before or after the main 8-h photoperiod. The bright/dim and dim/ bright groups matured at the same age, thus disproving the hypothesis tested. Both groups matured 1 wk earlier than the 8-h controls but 5 wk later than birds transferred to 16-h photoperiod. Oviposition time was similar for 8-h controls and bright/dim hens and delayed by 3 h for 16-h birds, but phase advanced by 2.4 h for dim/bright hens. Plasma melatonin rhythm was phase-advanced by about 5 h in the dim/bright hens and retarded by about 5 h in the bright/dim hens, suggesting a 13-h subjective day. However, these treatments were not regarded as fully stimulatory, as a transfer to a normal 13-h photoperiod at this age advances maturity by 5 to 6 wk. These findings show that the addition of a period of dim light to a normal nonstimulatory photoperiod differentially affects the clocks that control sexual maturation, plasma melatonin concentration, and oviposition time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center