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Br Poult Sci. 2007 Jun;48(3):276-83.

Rearing photoperiod and abrupt versus gradual photostimulation for egg-type pullets.

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Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


1. Lohmann White and Lohmann Brown egg-type hybrids were reared on 6-, 8-, 10- or 12-h photoperiods, transferred to 12.5 h at 18 weeks and then given weekly increments to reach 14 h at 21 weeks. In a second experiment, Lohmann White pullets from the same rearing facility were transferred abruptly to 14 h at 18 weeks. 2. Body weight gain and feed intake to 6 and 18 weeks were positively correlated with rearing photoperiod in both breeds. Mortality to 18 weeks was unaffected. 3. Whether the photoperiod was increased abruptly or in a series of increments, Lohmann White pullets reared on 6 or 8 h matured 4 to 6 d later than pullets reared on 10 or 12 h. Rearing day-length had little effect on sexual maturity in Lohmann Brown pullets. 4. In both genotypes and each experiment, egg numbers, egg weight and shell strength increased with rearing photoperiod. Feed intake in the laying period was not significantly affected by rearing day-length, but a meta-analysis of all data showed a significant, though small, increase in adult feed intake with rearing photoperiod. Despite Lohmann White birds reared on 6 and 8 h having lower body weights throughout the laying period, they had larger body weight gains between 18 and 70 weeks than those reared on 10 or 12 h. There were no clear effects of rearing photoperiod on albumen height or mortality. 5. The heavier eggs and stronger shells of the birds reared on the longer day-lengths were correlated with heavier body weights at 18 weeks, and the superior egg numbers and higher feed intake were associated with age at sexual maturity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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