Lighting is an essential factor in the success of the commercial production of layers and broilers.
Processors and breeding companies have clear requirements for both light intensity for brooding and light intensity for the growing of a flock. This usually results in a general requirement of approximately 20 lux and above for brooding and 5 to 8 lux for growing.
Research with different coloured light has been done over many years, however, the major breeding companies still have a general recommendation for a dimmable white light.
With controlled environmental shedding being the most common shedding type, there is little or no opportunity for natural light as the main light source. Therefore an artificial light source is the norm. Day length influences many variables, including animal welfare, laying, growth rate and skeletal development. While the breeders and processors have developed prescriptive lighting programs, which include substantial dark periods, there are currently several accepted regimes.
The following breeder guides contain more details about lighting programs for commercial poultry production;
Hy-Line Brown – Commercial Management Guide (Layers – see page 10)
Ross Broiler Manual_2009 (Broilers – see page 60)
See also NSW DPI (Lighting of Poultry)