ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Effect of Varying Light Intensity on Growth Performance and Carcass Characteristics of Heavy Broilers

25 March 2012, at 12:00am

Reducing lighting intensity may be beneficial on farms using low–lighting environment to reduce hyperactivity, pecking damage and energy costs without physiological stress effects on broiler welfare, according to USDA researchers in Mississippi. There were some significant effects of light intensity on some carcass characteristics.

In International Journal of Poultry Science, Hammed A. Olanrewaju and co-authors at the USDA-ARS Poultry Research Unit in Mississippi State report a study to investigate the effects of varying levels of light intensities (25, 10, 5, 2.5 and 0.2 lux) on growth performance and carcass characteristics of broiler chickens grown to heavy weights.

Four identical trials were conducted with two replications per trial. In each trial, 600 day–old Ross 308 chicks were randomly distributed into 10 environmentally controlled chambers (30 male and 30 female chicks per chamber). Each chamber was randomly assigned one of five light intensities from days 22 to 56. Feed and water were provided ad libitum.

Birds were provided a four phase–feeding programme (starter, grower, finisher and withdrawal). Birds and feed were weighed on 0, 14, 21, 28, 42 and 56 days of age for growth performance. Also at 56 days of age, 20 birds (10 males and 10 females) from each chamber were randomly selected and processed to determine weights and yields.

There was no effect of light intensity on growth performance, except significant (p<0.054) difference in FCR on 28 days of age under 25 and 5 lux. Broilers reared under 5 lux had significantly higher live weight (p<0.046) and carcass weight (p<0.026) than those with 0.2 and 25 lux.

Birds reared under 5 and 10 lux had significantly higher fillet (p<0.025) and tender (p<0.034) weights than those reared under 0.2 and 25 lux. Mortality was not affected by light intensity treatments. In addition, plasma corticosterone concentrations were not statistically affected by light intensity, suggesting an absence of physiological stress.

These results indicate that the range of light intensity used in this study has no effect on most production performances of broilers reared up to 56 days of age but did affect some carcass characteristics, according to Olanrewaju and co-authors. Therefore, using lower lighting intensity may be beneficial to commercial poultry facilities that are using low lighting environment to reduce hyperactivity, pecking damage and energy costs without physiological stress effects on broiler welfare.

Reference

Olanrewaju H.A., J.L. Purswell, S.D. Collier and S.L. Branton. 2011. Effect of varying light intensity on growth performance and carcass characteristics of broiler chickens grown to heavy weights. International Journal of Poultry Science. 10(12):921-926.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.


March 2012