Studying the Effect of Light Wavelength on Laying Hens (Gallus gallus)




Baxter, Mikayla

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University of Guelph


In poultry, higher wavelengths of light are more effective at stimulating extra-retinal photoreceptors, increasing reproduction. In practice, multiple light sources are used in layer barns, each emitting different light spectra. This study aimed to design a novel LED bulb and evaluate the effect of light wavelength on egg production. Our initial results in non-commercial laying hens, found that red light is critical to stimulate the reproductive response, therefore we designed a LED bulb emitting 60% red light (LED-R). This bulb was able to effectively stimulate the reproductive axis in commercial laying hens without negatively affecting egg production, egg quality or stress in birds maintained either in cages or on floor pens. When exposed to light from the LED-R, feed consumption and body growth was reduced, without affecting cumulative number of eggs. As well, the LED-R bulbs consumed less electricity thus reducing cost of production.



Light wavelength, LED, Laying Hens, egg production