Effects of light-emitting diode light v. fluorescent light on growing performance, activity levels and well-being of non-beak-trimmed W-36 pullets

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-115
Journal / PublicationAnimal
Issue number1
Online published5 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


More energy-efficient, readily dimmable, long-lasting and more affordable light-emitting diode (LED) lights are increasingly finding applications in poultry production facilities. Despite anecdotal evidence about the benefits of such lighting on bird performance and behavior, concrete research data were lacking. In this study, a commercial poultry-specific LED light (dim-to-blue, controllable correlated color temperature (CCT) from 4500 to 5300 K) and a typical compact fluorescent light (CFL) (soft white, CCT=2700 K) were compared with regards to their effects on growing performance, activity levels, and feather and comb conditions of non-beak-trimmed W-36 pullets during a 14-week rearing period. A total of 1280-day-old pullets in two successive batches, 640 birds each, were used in the study. For each batch, pullets were randomly assigned to four identical litter-floor rooms equipped with perches, two rooms per light regimen, 160 birds per room. Body weight, BW uniformity (BWU), BW gain (BWG) and cumulative mortality rate (CMR) of the pullets were determined every 2 weeks from day-old to 14 weeks of age (WOA). Activity levels of the pullets at 5 to 14 WOA were delineated by movement index. Results revealed that pullets under the LED and CFL lights had comparable BW (1140 ± 5 g v. 1135 ± 5 g, P = 0.41), BWU (90.8 ± 1.0% v. 91.9 ± 1.0%, P = 0.48) and CMR (1.3 ± 0.6% v. 2.7 ± 0.6%, P = 0.18) at 14 WOA despite some varying BWG during the rearing. Circadian activity levels of the pullets were higher under the LED light than under the CFL light, possibly resulting from differences in spectrum and/or perceived light intensity between the two lights. No feather damage or comb wound was apparent in either light regimen at the end of the rearing period. The results contribute to understanding the impact of emerging LED lights on pullets rearing which is a critical component of egg production.

Research Area(s)

  • activity level, animal behavior, feather condition, growing performance, poultry lighting