Researchers evaluate effects of variable light intensity programs on broiler welfare
By Canadian Poultry magazineNews Welfare
Scientists assessed impact on gait score, stress and central positive welfare on commercial broiler farm.
Dr. David Caldwell, head of the Department of Poultry Science and the director for the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science within the University of Arkansas, and his team recently completed a funded research project.
The goal of the project was to determine the effects of variable intensity lighting and natural lighting programs on behavior, gait score and stress hormone (corticosterone) compared with constant light intensity programs in commercial broiler farms.
Other objectives in the study included investigating the effect of enrichment huts on broiler behavior, gait score and stress in the different lighting programs.
Findings showed that the variable light (VL) intensity lighting program stimulated the dustbathing behavior and volunteer movement of birds.
In addition, litter moisture content and footpad lesions were lowest in the VL intensity lighting program house.
A research summary can be found here.
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