Optimizing Lighting for Precision Broiler Breeder Feeding
As managing body weight is key to optimize reproduction in broiler breeders, precision feeding systems are being developed. However, to be economically viable such systems require continuous access, hence, continuous illumination. Thus, this study investigated the impact of 24-hour supplemental feeder light spectrum on pullet growth and adult production. Furthermore, the effect of spectrum daytime lights and its interaction with supplemental light were determined. Exposure of broiler breeder hens to continuous red supplemental light delayed sexual maturity resulting in lower egg production and heavier body weight at onset of lay, while supplemental green light had no negative impact. No obvious effect of daytime light spectrum was observed, however, its significant interaction with supplemental light spectrum on egg production indicates potential synergistic effect. In conclusion, the use of continuous red supplemental light is strongly discouraged, and supplemental green light appears to be the best candidate to continuously illuminate precision feeding systems.