March 8, 2021

Using light as a management tool to impact performance in Layers and Breeders

Despite long-standing and ongoing efforts to improve poultry well-being and ensure sustainability of the food chain, management of reproductively active egg-laying operations present unique challenges in the poultry industry. Many of these challenges, which include piling, floor eggs, checked eggs, pecking, and keel bone fractures, can be overcome by solutions offered by lighting systems.

In this presentation, Aaron Stephan, director of biological research and development at ONCE, discusses: 1) Our understanding of visual and non-visual perception mechanisms in poultry and how this affects their reproductive physiology. 2) Recent studies that demonstrate preferential and aversive lighting spectral compositions and how this relates to production metrics and the well-being of the bird. 3) New management strategies for layers and breeders through the modulation of lighting spectrum, intensity, schedule, photoperiod, and distribution within the barn.