Effect of supplementary ultraviolet lighting on the behaviour and corticosterone levels of Japanese quail chicks

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Abstract:

Most birds have visual sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths, and this sensitivity appears to play a role in their colour vision. Artificial lighting is normally deficient in UV wavelengths. Hence, there may be welfare implications for captive birds kept under such lighting. We investigated whether the absence of UV wavelengths during rearing adversely affects Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica). We also investigated the short-term effect of switching from UV-containing to UV-deficient lighting, and vice versa. Stress was assessed by monitoring behaviour and plasma corticosterone levels. We did not detect any significant difference in these variables between birds reared either with or without UV. We conclude that rearing quail in an absence of UV does not appear to have a significant impact on their welfare, as measured using these indicators.

Keywords: ANIMAL WELFARE; BEHAVIOUR; CORTICOSTERONE; JAPANESE QUAIL; ULTRAVIOLET; UV

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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