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Light Management in Breeder: know more…

Published on: 01/18/2019
Author/s : Dr. Pooja Gautam, Product Manager, Natural Remedies Pvt Ltd

KEY POINTS Birds ‘reproductive cycle is controlled by changes in day length called as Photoperiod. Birds perceive this photoperiod in two ways: a) Through retinal of the eye to visual cortex and pituitary gland b) Through harderian gland (UVA specific light) which triggers reproductive system Birds are not “stimulated” by the entire period of light, but rather by two i...

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January 18, 2019
Very nice article dr. Pooja
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Dr Pooja Bhardwaj Dr Pooja Bhardwaj
M.V.Sc (Pharmacology & Toxicology)
Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd
Karnataka, India
January 21, 2019
NILESH DHORE Thank you so much Dr.
Reply
February 4, 2019

Dr. Pooja,
Excellent presentation on breeder light stimulation and effects on production and quality of egg. What type of lightning arrangement to done in closed or tunnel EC sheds, few poultry experts say use tubelights and other recommend LED or CLF.
Which do you suggest for better lighting and maintaining LUX?
Recently we have construction TWO EC sheds at Nepal from GSI Malaysia.we have installed LED bulbs. Can put some input to correct if necessary for better lighting and production.
S.S.NAIDU

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Dr Pooja Bhardwaj Dr Pooja Bhardwaj
M.V.Sc (Pharmacology & Toxicology)
Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd
Karnataka, India
February 7, 2019
SAI SUDHAKAR NAIDU.VELLORE
Dear S. S. Naidu,

Thanks for your query which can initiate a powerful discussion to conclude the best light system in poultry house. Before moving to the main query, let me explain the basic difference between the LED and Tube light (CFL). As you know, apart from its (LED) well known advantages like more energy efficient, close approximation of daylight spectrum, non flicker and long lasting over CFL, LED also have cooling effect means it do not cause heat build-up. LED produces 3.5 btu/hrs which is quite below than CFL (1 btu =1055 joules).
Again, before considering LED to use in poultry house we should consider that LED is having some disadvantages over CFL which are mentioned below:
1. LED provides a unidirectional flow of light which means it spread the light in a confined space while CFL emits light in all the direction. So, more LED bulbs are required to illuminate the poultry house with a desired lux intensity. LED provides more lux but less lumens as compare to CFL. You can use clean reflectors to overcome this limitation
2. Due course of time LED brightness is reduced. So, we must check the lux regularly to avoid any photoperiod issue. LED bulbs should be cleaned once in two weeks to reduce this issue.
I my opinion using LED in poultry house is a good option. However, it will be costly issue initially it can give more ROI in long run. 2,700 Kelvin LEDs are more popular in broiler breeder operations. I don’t have any exact data about the number of LED per square area of EC poultry sheds. Some interesting points are there which can consider during LED bulbs distribution in the poultry house:
• The distance between bulbs should be 1½ times the distance from the bulb to the bird level.
• The distance from the bulbs to the outer edges of the house should be only ½ the distance between bulbs.
• In cage system, the bulbs should be placed in such a way that their rays fall on the feed and on the birds. If you are planning to switch to LED then requesting you to share the above information with us.
• 10-watt 2,700K A19 non-dimmable LED bulbs on 5-foot centers in two rows of lights above the birds.
If you are planning to switch to LED light in EC shed, you can seek advice to an electrical expert of any reputed lighting company for about watts of LED and number of LED per square area of poultry house with desired lux intensity.

Requesting you to share your feedback and insight about LED distribution in poultry sheds. It will give us more clear insight.

Regards,
Dr Pooja Bhardwaj
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February 7, 2019

Great information!

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February 8, 2019

Dr Pooja Bhardwaj, hello; I just installed LED lights in a Broiler house 114 x 14 meter and 3,0 to 3,5 m height in the center. In total installed 4 rows of each 31 Lights each 5 Watt / 48 Volt with color Warm-white, +/- 3.000 K.

Result is that throughout the houses the intensity is between 42 and 45 Lux. Power consumption around 800 Watt including drivers for regulation (0 - 10 Volt signal) from 0 to max. intensity. Life expectancy lights is 50.000 hours. Power consumption before was 5.0 KW!!.

Hope this helps somebody to get a good and energy efficient system. Regards

Reply
Dr Pooja Bhardwaj Dr Pooja Bhardwaj
M.V.Sc (Pharmacology & Toxicology)
Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd
Karnataka, India
February 8, 2019

Leo Geilvoet thanks for your experience and sharing. May we know the climatic conditions of that area? And do you have any idea about breeder house using LED lighting?

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Roberto Ricagno Roberto Ricagno
Veterinary Doctor
February 8, 2019

Dra Pooja Gautam, excellent article and also your contribution on LED lights and CLF.

Thanks for sharing.

I would like to consult you for an observation exposed in it.

I do not completely agree with the observation "A thumb rule with breeders is to ensure hens at least 2.1kg and 20 weeks of age before light stimulation", at least for certain genetic lines and for these last years and that is why I wanted see if I could give more information about it.

This data, correct, real and practical of the 90s can be referred to the practical experience and research of a few years ago, expressed by several researchers, as cited by Robinson, 1996, and also by many works of Dr. Lien regarding of photostimulation by age or weight and the realization among them.

Although I do not see it compatible today with certain genetic lines (example Cobb 500 SF) where the conditions to photostimulate a bird are closer to a weight of 2.4 kg and in age closer to 144-147 days and additional to it to a certain conformation of fleshing and fat reserves.
Being the latter one of the most difficult aspects to achieve with the genetic advance because the birds increasingly tend to deposit less fat (meat more lean) which complicates those who work with breeders.

Today we look for peaks of production closer to 88-90% and about 10-11 weeks over 80%, much higher than what was expressed in articles of the '90s.

Do you consider that the concept of 2.1 kg and 20 weeks should be reviewed at least for certain lines?

Greetings and many thanks.

Roberto Ricagno

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Dr Pooja Bhardwaj Dr Pooja Bhardwaj
M.V.Sc (Pharmacology & Toxicology)
Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd
Karnataka, India
February 8, 2019
Roberto Ricagno Thanks for valuable insight of current scenario.
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Robert Renema Robert Renema
Producer Programs Manager
February 8, 2019

Roberto Ricagno, you bring up a very relevant point with the target weights. What I tend to see is that the smaller birds in your population suffer the most from insufficient access to feed (as a result of competition, energetic inefficiency, poor uniformity etc), while the larger birds in the population are less negatively affected. Our work on breeders in the 90's would have been on strains with more carcass fat, which are much more forgiving when energy intake is variable or too low. Adjusting the target BW on a lean breeder line up at 20 wk is one way to compensate for the combination of less fat content and smaller birds suffering greater consequences to lagging in BW (the smaller pullets at 20 wk would tend to have delayed first egg, low egg weight throughout lay, poor mating behaviour etc.). Our tools for dealing with a non-uniform pullet flock have generally been either to delay lighting or push for a slightly heavier BW.

A highly uniform flock can be approached a little differently. For these we can get into the other big factor in how birds come into lay -- the timing of feed increases. With the lean birds of today, I've seen better results from a strategy that comes closer to mirroring the demands of the growing ovary. For some managers, this will mean holding off on the size of some of the feed increases near photostimulation and providing them a few weeks later (in the period 2-4 wk after lighting) to avoid sending negative metabolic signals to the bird just as ovary growth and nutrient demand is reaching its' peak. The daily rhythm of the reproductive hormones is still in some flux at this time, and you can have long term negative consequences on key traits like long-term maintenance of lay if you are backing off on feed just as the reproductive system needs this support the most. I'm not saying increase feed, but instead am saying rethink the size and timing of your feed increases (especially in uniform flocks!).

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Roberto Ricagno Roberto Ricagno
Veterinary Doctor
February 8, 2019

Dr. Robert Renema, thank you very much for your comment.
I totally agree with your initial assessment and even more, how well you, Dr. Robinson and other researchers at your University have published several times, in this stage of the photostimulus, we're doing an ovarian management where the feeding must be very tight and especially post photostimulation to avoid deaths associated with ovarian overstimulation.

For this reason, feed increases are conservative after photostimulus. And it is what I do in the management of parental flocks with my advisors to avoid mortality, considering that in full peak 0.25 / 0.30% weekly mortality would be the most I want to have.

My apologies but I do not finish to understand what you are referring to with your phrase .... I'm not saying increase feed, but instead I'm rethinking the size and timing of your feed increases (especially in uniform flocks!) .... Could you expand on that comment or send me information on where to read it more widely?

Thank you very much.

Roberto Ricagno

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Robert Huggins Robert Huggins
Animal Nutritionist
February 9, 2019

While I agree with what Dr. Renema is saying, my experience with broiler breeders, at least under tropical conditions was to divide the barn into 4 and separate the baby chicks as much as possible into small, medium and large chicks, with the 4th section reserved for extra males. We found prior to doing this, no matter what we did. When chicks were weighed weekly, underweight chicks were placed into the section with small birds and overweight into the section with large birds. Prior to doing this we always had poor uniformity.

Once we were able to successfully separate the chicks by weight; uniformity improved and mortality decreased. As far as feeding went, this was adjusted weekly and depending on how much I wanted the birds to be over under the standard weight determined whether feed was increased the next week or remained the same. This worked very well for our program which resulted in higher production rates and better quality chicks.

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Robert Renema Robert Renema
Producer Programs Manager
February 11, 2019
Robert Huggins, I would agree that there can be value in sorting your flock, but this is not an option for many farms. When available, the benefit will be particularly noticeable in birds at the smaller end of the weight spectrum.
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Robert Huggins Robert Huggins
Animal Nutritionist
February 12, 2019

I agree this is not always possible especially when the flocks are large. However, in developing countries broiler breeder producers may not be as large as those found in North America so dividing the barn and sorting of birds into small, medium and large birds with a small area for males is not difficult. When we started this program the farm was raising 15,000 broiler breeders, but divided between 5 barns of 3,000 birds per barn, so was feasible. We also used automatic feeders, but added a dummy hopper. The other alternative which would be nice is getting the hatcheries to separate the chicks into the three sizes by weight.

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February 14, 2019
This is educating and informative. Kudos, Dr. Pooja
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Dr Pooja Bhardwaj Dr Pooja Bhardwaj
M.V.Sc (Pharmacology & Toxicology)
Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd
Karnataka, India
March 18, 2019
odunewu adebayo thank you for your encouragement
Reply
Siddiqur Rahman Siddiqur Rahman
B. Sc. A. H. And M. S. in Poultry Science
February 21, 2019
Yes, you are right.
Reply
Robert Serwanga Robert Serwanga
Mr. Robert Serwanga.
February 21, 2019

This is very useful information for efficient breeder management.
My question is can this separation in three sizes i.e small, medium and big also benefit those in commercial production egg and meat?

Reply
Robert Renema Robert Renema
Producer Programs Manager
February 21, 2019

Robert Serwanga, there is much less benefit to separation by size in other stocks because feed access is a non-competitive issue. Leghorns do not have competition for feed the way broiler breeders do, so the advantage of size in interactions during feeding are negated. For broilers, straight run flocks may have more weight variation than sexed flocks due to difference between male and female growth in the last weeks of the cycle, but this is nothing that can really be helped by sorting. Our processing plants sort birds of various target weights into the appropriate order bins, meaning straight run flocks work just fine (for a 2.35 kg target BW at least). For markets requiring more uniformity or where birds are processed at higher final weights, sexed flocks can be used.

Reply
Robert Huggins Robert Huggins
Animal Nutritionist
February 21, 2019
The simple answer to your question is yes. However, with broilers, it is more normal to have chicks placed as straight run where males and females are reared together. This can pose some problems if you are very particular about feed type and management and age at which the birds are "pulled" for sale. The second way broilers are raised, male and female chicks are separated at the hatchery and placed into separate barns on the farm. This allows the producer to pull one set of birds without stressing the other thereby allowing for normal growth. As far as layers go, birds can be separated into small, medium and large after weighing as is done with breeders. Again, this will depend on size of flock and type of system used. For cage layers, it starts when the chicks are put into the cages at the time of placement, or after the chicks have gone through starter stage when the pullets are being separated. If the birds are free run then use the same system as for breeders.
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Robert Serwanga Robert Serwanga
Mr. Robert Serwanga.
February 25, 2019
Thank you Robert and Robert for the insight.
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Dr. Vinayak Surve Dr. Vinayak Surve
Master of Veterinary Science - Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension
Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd
Karnataka, India
April 24, 2019
Detailed and informative article. One can get good insights on light management by revisiting the ideas mentioned in the article. Thanks Dr. Pooja for reviewing many articles and bringing the best insights together in this article.
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