In the process of managing a healthy and a productive flock, getting the right lighting conditions plays a very important role. In the last few years, the lighting in a poultry farm has become a little more complex than just fixing a bulb and turning on a switch. So, what has changed over the years? Why is lighting important? And how to choose the right lighting system?
Importance of lighting in poultry farms
In order to understand how lighting affects the poultry production, it is important to know that chickens perceive light in a different way. Not just from their eyes, chickens perceive light through the top of their skull and hence even a blind chicken can sense the length of daylight periods and the resulting seasonal changes.
Lighting systems in poultry farms should be setup with a goal to simulate nature. Factors such as intensity and light distribution play a key role in providing the perfect conditions. Like any other living being, a chicken’s life revolves around the regular day-and-night cycle. With a proper cycle, the birds develop a habitual rhythm which is important for certain functions like melatonin production. A proper day-night-cycle drives better immune function, growth rate and reproductive hormones in birds.
What else should be considered?
Light is a very important factor for creating a good environment for the chicken and ensuring that the production levels are high. There are certain key factors to consider when setting up a perfect lighting environment in poultry farms.
The light spectrum is the key to ensure perfect lighting environment. Since the chickens see the electromagnetic spectrum, which is different from what we humans see, always consider to follow the same. Along with this, the light should be able to be dimmable from 100% to 0% in order to stimulate sunset and sunrise within an enclosed farm.
It is kind of important to follow nature. In other terms, color temperature and Correlated Color Temperature (CTT) plays an important role in the warmth that is offered. Lower the color temperature, warmer is the light. And keeping the temperature optimum is essential in a poultry farm.
Also, the light in a poultry house should not flicker either. Flickering lights cause strobe effect and since chickens can detect flickering up to 200 kHz, the wrong lighting will end up creating a restless environment for the birds.
One of the biggest challenges in maintaining optimum lighting conditions is to work out how to manage an aviary system or a free-range system. Some researchers believe that the LED lighting in aviary and free-range systems can offer more consistency when compared to florescent lights. Also, transitioning to LED will lower the overall energy cost on the farm.
As you observed, there are various factors to take into consideration when to ensure optimal poultry light climate. Each poultry type has various requirements which should be adhered to. Proper lighting is very important for the success of various poultry farm operations.
A best in class poultry farm software ensures that the lighting remains optimum and also drives various integrations in order to allow innovations with the farm and lower the overall cost.