The Science of Broiler and Pullet Lighting

At ONCE® we understand that modern poultry production has evolved into a science. With every chick placement growers face new obstacles ranging from regulations and production costs to the unexpected. We understand that it can be difficult to achieve optimal results on a regular basis and want to help you maintain consistent success.

Monochromatic green for Pullets

Consistently, research concludes monochromatic LED source lighting increases growth in broilers reared under green monochromatic light during the early stage by enhancing proliferation of skeletal muscle satellite cells.

Blue light for Broilers

Blue light has been shown to help in the growth of poultry at a later age by elevation of plasma androgens. Monochromatic blue light has a calming effect on animals, which is particularly useful during semen collection from male turkeys. Other studies show exposure to blue light causes a decrease in blood pressure and positively effects blood glucose levels and triglyceride levels.

Species-specific technology

Junglite Green technology offers an enhanced jungle green light spectrum that replicates a birds’ natural habitat and promotes growth by targeting poultry-specific color sensitives.

Dim-to-Blue technology encourages uniform growth by offering healthy bird development during every growth stage.

The effect of lighting indoors

Using an inappropriate artificial light, or simply improperly measured light intensities, will result in the illuminance (footcandle, lux) being too high or too low. The consequences of inappropriate lighting may affect health, production and welfare of your flock due to the abnormal light-induced biological responses.

Poultry see light differently

The Typical Photopic Spectral Response Graphs below show how most humans, who have three visual cones, see green and yellow colors more intensely than they see blue and red. The Typical Fowl graph shows that chickens, who have four visual cones, are more sensitive to blue and red light. And what about the far left, smaller peak? It’s the UV spectrum. Chickens can see UV light, and humans cannot.

Sunset and Sunrise

The circadian pacemaker consists of two component oscillators. One is entrained to dusk and controls the onset of melatonin secretion. The second is entrained to dawn and controls the melatonin amplitude. The natural daylight spectrum during sunsets and sunrises is different from natural light at noon. There are also significant seasonal variances in the spectral composition of sunset and sunrise light.

Birds react not only to seasonal changes in daylength, but also seasonal changes in the light spectrum. These facts add to the importance of considering spectrum in the addition of sunrise/sunset controls in artificial lighting choices. The second picture on your right illustrates the typical spectrum of a summer sunset.

In the spectrum charts below, daylight at noon is compared to daylight at sunset is compared.

Enhance Welfare

As the first company to pioneer animal lighting systems based on scientific research, we’ve developed innovative solutions that improve animal welfare. Our rigorous scientific process has allowed us to unlock the potential of light and ensure success.

An animals’ natural habitat was meant to be outside—more specifically, the red jungle fowl, an ancestor of the domestic chicken, originated in the rain forests of Southeast Asia. A place where photoperiods are not as drastic and light intensities and spectrum are different when compared to open land areas and many parts of the country. Pecking, nervousness, feed source recognition and hormonal responses may all be seen in chickens outside of their natural habitat, causing increased stress and decreased animal welfare.

Improve Feed Conversion Rates

Recent scientific trials showed broilers raised under Junglite Green technology compared to those under a regular blue-enriched white LED showed reduction in bird feed consumption per pound of meat produced.

With a .028 feed conversion rate improvement, this provides an ROI after the first flock and is estimated to give producers $19,008.70 in additional profits the first year* and save integrators $15,912.00 PER WEEKʠ!

*With a savings of .34¢ per pound (lb) and standard gross lbs sold equaling 411,936. ((.34¢ x 411,936 lbs / 2 houses) x 6 houses) x (5 flock turns per year) = Approximate yearly profits – ($3,500.00 Estimated Investment of ONCE® lighting system – $1,500.00 – Estimated investment of other lighting option) = Total profits after investment (i.e. for year 1)

ʠ Assuming a poultry complex places 750,000 birds per week with 96% livability rate, average bird weight is 6.5 pounds (lbs) and Junglite Green™ technology reduces weekly growers’ standards to 0.34¢ per lb. ((750,000 x 96%) x 6.5) x 0.34¢ = Savings per week.

Reduce Animal Stress

By providing a natural sunrise and sunset simulation, our lighting systems eliminate extreme changes in light, eliminating multiple stress inputs and lowering mortality rates, while improving immune response. This is supported by blood assays for short- and long-term stress indicators, as well as behavioral stress tests.

Enhance Productivity

Healthy bird development enhances bird weight

Green light encourages growth of poultry during the early stages of life by enhancing proliferation of skeletal muscle satellite cells, while blue light elevates plasma androgens allowing the bird to put on more muscle mass at later stages of development.

A recent USDA study found that broilers raised under ONCE® lighting systems outperformed when compared to other LED lamps. The broilers tested under our system showed a 3-5% increase in body weight.

Combined green and blue light promotes myofiber growth due to more effective stimulation of testosterone secretion. Other studies show exposure to blue light causes a decrease in blood pressure and positively effects blood glucose levels and triglyceride levels.

The graphs below illustrate the distinct advantages of LED lighting for the domestic fowl in general (left) and the unique advantages of lighting with Dim-to-Blue® technology.

Experience a Return-On-Investment

Based on photobiology and backed up by scientific research, we have become an industry leader by focusing our efforts on finding solutions that show proven, measurable results. These results leverage three key aspects of lighting needed to experience success when raising broilers: spectrum, intensity and photoperiod.

The right light recipe

At ONCE®, we dedicate every extra penny into researching the science of light exclusively for the agricultural market. This allows us to recommend the right lighting program that is guaranteed to simultaneously achieve your goals.

The right lighting layout

ONCE® has a team of experts who know the best solutions specific to you and your animals. They make sure you get a lighting layout with the correct light levels and placement of the lights, for free! They can also help answer questions about light recipes and surge protectors as well. Contact someone on our team today to learn more about what the right light recipe can do for you.

Additional resource: Review of Lighting Programs for Broiler Production (PDF)

A sustainable solution

LED lighting has become a favored choice for raising broilers and pullets because they deliver a sustainable and high energy savings solution when compared to traditional lighting sources such as incandescent or fluorescent lighting.

Durable and Lasting Product Design

ONCE® uses techniques and materials that withstand harsh barn environment for years to come. Our products are made with a Built For Your Barn® design, meaning they’re made to last when regullarly exposed to dirt and dust, high-pressure wash-downs and corrosive vapors, including ammonia.

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