ADAPTATION TO THE PULLET-REARING ENVIRONMENT BY PROVIDING LIGHTING DURING EMBRYO DEVELOPMENT
Abeysinghe, Korala Watthe Gedara Nilakshi Dhanushka Kumari
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In this study, it was hypothesized that providing a photoperiod during incubation will positively affect the production performance of laying hens. In the current study 640 eggs from each of two laying hen lines, (Lohmann Lite and Lohmann Brown) were incubated in 8 incubators as eighty eggs from each hen line/incubator. Blue, red and white LED lights were installed in 2 incubators each and 2 were left in the dark. In each lighting treatment the photoperiod used was 12L:12D. Hatched female chicks (n=384) were housed in 64 cages at 6 birds/cage and were provided with two post-hatch light regimes (long-days and short-days). During the study, production performance was monitored. Out of the four lighting treatments, red light reduced the total hatching time, improved chick quality, post-hatch growth rate and egg production. In conclusion, introduction of red LED to hatching eggs during incubation was beneficial to increase the production performance.