Effects of daytime and supplemental light spectrum on broiler breeder growth and sexual maturation
As body weight is critical for successful reproduction in broiler breeders, a precision feeding system was developed to automatically allocate feed to individuals based on real-time measurements. However, to be commercially applicable it requires continuous illumination and, since green and red lights have been shown to stimulate growth and reproduction, respectively, this study aimed at determining which wavelength and intensity could be provided as feeder supplemental lighting without negatively impacting production. Furthermore, the interactions between daytime and supplemental light spectrums were investigated. Results show green daytime light promoted early growth and hens under red daytime light produced more eggs during early lay. Supplemental red light triggered a delay in sexual maturation in an intensity dependent manner which resulted in heavier hens at first egg. In conclusion, constant red supplemental light should not be used for broiler breeder precision feeding systems while a red daytime light may promote early egg production.