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Poult Sci. 2015 Sep;94(9):2027-36. doi: 10.3382/ps/pev215. Epub 2015 Jul 21.

Comparison of Two LED Light Bulbs to a Dimmable CFL and their Effects on Broiler Chicken Growth, Stress, and Fear.

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  • 1Department of Poultry Science, Texas A&M University.
  • 2Department of Poultry Science, Texas A&M University


The poultry industry is currently undergoing a shift to alternative lighting sources as incandescent lights become less available. While LED and CFL bulbs both have associated increased energy savings, they may affect the bird's growth and well-being differently as they output different light spectrums. To determine how different LED bulbs and a CFL bulb affected broiler performance, behavior, stress, and overall well-being, we conducted an experiment using Cobb broiler chickens (N=360). A NextGen LED bulb (NextGen), a Once Innovations LED bulb (Once), and a dimmable CFL (CFL) were used, all of which had different spectral outputs. Growth and feed conversion, several stress measures, fear tests, organ characteristics, and animal welfare assessment parameters were collected to determine how each light type affected animal well-being. LED treatments had shorter (P<0.05) latency to right during tonic immobility testing when compared to the CFL treatment; however, no other differences (P>0.05) were seen in the other fear tests. The Once treatment resulted in lower composite physical asymmetry, heterophil/lymphocyte ratio, and basal plasma corticosterone concentrations compared to the other treatments (P<0.05). Differences were observed in some organ measures; notably in the eye dimensions of the Once treatment. The Once treatment also had lower (P<0.05) plumage, hock, and footpad scores when compared to CFL treatment, while the Nextgen treatment had lower (P<0.05) plumage and hock scores than the CFL treatment but no difference between the two was seen in foot pad scores. Weight at the end of the growout was not affected by bulb type, however, both LED treatments had increased feed conversion (P<0.05). These results indicate that LEDs can result in better well-being and feed conversion when compared to CFLs. It is also notable that the LEDs did not have the same effects and this is likely due to the spectrum of light each creates. LEDs were shown to improve production and well-being of broiler chickens compared to CFLs.


Broiler; Fear; Light; Stress

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