Submitted to: International Journal of Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/12/2006
Publication Date: 7/20/2006
Citation: Olanrewaju, H.A., Thaxton, J.P., Dozier III, W.A., Purswell, J.L., Roush, W.B., Branton, S.L. 2006. A review of lighting programs for broiler production. International Journal of Poultry Science. 5(4):301-308.
Interpretive Summary: During the last two decades in the U.S. poultry industry, emphasis of selection has shifted more and more to traits/strains which are of primary importance to processing plants: breast meat yield, total carcass value, efficiency of lean meat production, uniformity of product, and low mortality and condemnation rates. Rate of development differs among genetic strains, and lighting needs may be genetic strain specific to optimize growth performance. Currently, the optimum lighting programs for broilers grown to heavy weights (3.4 kg or greater) are not well defined. Research is warranted to determine suitable lighting programs for modern broiler chickens grown to heavy weights. Much of the lighting research to date that has been reported is with smaller sized broilers from genetic strains that are not currently used and the light intensities especially were not in the range currently used by the industry. The aim of this review is to update research on lighting programs for broiler production and to give direction for future lighting research.
Technical Abstract: Genetic selection of broilers for rapid growth has resulted in greater final body weights and improved feed conversion efficiency in reduced time increments. However, accelerated growth rates are associated with several undesirable traits, including increased fat deposition, and higher incidence of metabolic diseases, visual anomalies, skeletal deformities, and circulatory problems. These deficiencies, as well as the associated financial losses, have led to increased interest in developing management techniques that will maximize productivity while minimizing associated problems of broilers. Light is an important parameter of poultry production. Currently, there are a wide variety of lighting programs (wavelength, intensity, and duration) and devices available to poultry producers, each possessing its own characteristics and applicability to rearing poultry. The potential for changing photoperiods to influence broiler productivity and health is receiving considerable investigation. Some lighting programs have a central purpose of slowing the early growth rate of broilers thus allowing birds to achieve physiological maturity before maximal rates of muscle mass accretion. The aim of this review is to update research on lighting programs for broiler production and to give direction for future lighting research.