By Tory Shynkaruk and Karen Schwean-Lardner, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan
How we manage birds has a huge impact on their productivity, health, behaviour, and profitability. Lighting programs are an important management tool for poultry production. Traditionally, broiler chickens have been raised with little (1 hour) or no dark, with the belief this allowed them full visual access to their environment now know that birds need a period of darkness for optimal welfare and production. When birds are given a continuous period of 4-6 hours of darkness in a 24 hour period, they are more productive, healthier, more active, and sleep better.
The objective of this research was to understand the effects of different durations of darkness on broiler performance, feeding behaviour, and feed rates.(more…)