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Light intensity preferences of broiler chickens: implications for welfare

  • M. Raccoursier (a1), Y. V. Thaxton (a1) (a2), K. Christensen (a1), D. J. Aldridge (a1) and C. G. Scanes (a1)...


There is considerable debate as to the optimal light intensities for growing chickens. This is influencing regulations and industry practices. The present study examines the preference of broiler chickens for light intensity. A choice system was developed to allow determination of the preferences of broiler chickens for light intensity. This system had three light proof pens each with feeders or waterers but different light intensities. There was a connecting transit pen with a light intensity of 1 to 2 lux. This allowed birds access to the pens each with feeders or waterers. There were markedly more chickens observed in the pens each with feeders or waterers and a light intensity of 20 lux than 5 lux. Moreover, more feed was consumed in the 20 lux pens than 5 pens. There were also high numbers of chickens in the transit compartment with its low light intensity (1 to 2 lux) and no feeders or waterers. Broiler chickens exhibited a preference for 20 lux light intensity for feeding compared to 5 lux light intensity. The present study supports the view that there should be a light intensity of at least 20 lux for the areas around the feeders and also suggests that light intensity may be reduced in other areas for resting and other activities.


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Present Address: Tyson Foods, Springdale, AR 72762, USA.



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Light intensity preferences of broiler chickens: implications for welfare

  • M. Raccoursier (a1), Y. V. Thaxton (a1) (a2), K. Christensen (a1), D. J. Aldridge (a1) and C. G. Scanes (a1)...


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