Effects of Lighting on the Welfare of Domestic Poultry: A Review
Four aspects of lighting which may influence the behaviour and physiology of housed poultry are light intensity, photoperiod, light source and wavelength. These factors are frequently manipulated in an attempt to improve productivity and to facilitate management practices. This review examines the effects of such manipulation upon the welfare of the birds. The majority of papers on lighting in poultry houses deal with their effects upon performance, rather than on factors associated with behaviour and health which may impinge upon welfare. Data about the preferences of birds for different lighting conditions are almost entirely lacking, but the practice of housing birds in relatively low light intensity is considered likely to lead to sensory deprivation in species where vision is important. Tentative recommendations are given pending the results of future research as to appropriate light intensity, photoperiod and light sources for domestic poultry.
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