A comparison of the productivity and behaviour of broiler breeders illuminated by various light sources
The objective of this research was to explore the effects of various light sources on the productivity and behaviour of broiler breeders. Treatments included three light sources, producing various spectral outputs: compact fluorescent (CF), high pressure sodium (HPS) and incandescent (IN) lights. In a long-term study, there were no differences in egg production, fertility, body weights, or observed sexual behaviour (P > 0.10). Hens lit by HPS had better feather condition and fewer injuries (P < 0.05). CF illuminated hens laid proportionately fewer eggs in the nest and had poorer hatchability (P < 0.05). A subset of birds were used to (1) investigate the preferences of hens to rooster models and to feeders and (2) observe the responses of roosters towards a rooster model, illuminated by CF or HPS light sources. Hens approached objects illuminated by CF more often than those lit by HPS (P < 0.05) indicating light source may influence visual cues that affect behaviour.