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Poult Sci. 2016 Apr;95(4):727-35. doi: 10.3382/ps/pev360. Epub 2016 Feb 15.

Effects of light sources and intensity on broilers grown to heavy weights. Part 1: Growth performance, carcass characteristics, and welfare indices.

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USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Poultry Research Unit, PO Box 5367, Mississippi State University, Starkville 39762-5367
Advanced Animal Eye Care, 1067 Old West Point Road, Starkville, MS 39759.
College of Veterinary Medicine, Wise Center, Mississippi State University, Starkville 39762.
USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Poultry Research Unit, PO Box 5367, Mississippi State University, Starkville 39762-5367.


This study investigated the effects of light sources and light intensity on growth performance, carcass characteristics, and welfare indices of heavy broilers (>3.0 kg) in 4 trials with 2 replications per trial. A total of 960 one-day-old Ross×Ross 708 chicks (30 males/30 females/room) were randomly distributed into 16 environmentally controlled rooms at 50% RH. A 4×2 factorial treatment structure evaluated 4 light sources (incandescent [ICD, standard], compact fluorescent [CFL], neutral light emitting diode [Neutral-LED], and cool poultry specific filtered LED [Cool-PSF-LED]) and 2 levels (5 lx, 20 lx) of light intensities. Each of the 4 light sources was paired with one of the 2 light intensities. Birds were fed the same diet with a 4-phase feeding program (starter, grower, finisher, and withdrawal). Feed and water were provided ad libitum. Birds and feed were weighed on one, 14, 21, 28, 42, and 56 d of age for growth performance. All mortality was recorded daily and feed conversion was adjusted for mortality. Immune response was determined on d 28 to d 35, whereas other welfare indices were performed on d 42 and 49, respectively. At d 56 of each trial, 20 (10 males and 10 females) birds from each room were processed to determine weights and yields. The BW, BW gain, live weight, and carcass weights of birds reared under Cool-PSF-LED were different (P≤0.05) in comparison to birds reared under ICD. However, FI, FCR, and mortality were not affected by treatments. There was no effect of treatments on fat or breast and tender weights and yields. In addition, there was no effect of treatments on ocular development, immune response, and other welfare indices, suggesting that the light sources evaluated did not compromise welfare of heavy broilers. It was concluded that the 3 light sources evaluated in this study may be suitable for replacement of ICD light source in poultry facilities to reduce energy cost and optimize production efficiency.


broilers; growth performance; light intensity; light sources; welfare

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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