Effect of Type of Light Source and Location of Light Source on Layer Production, Stress and Fear During the Start of Lay Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018 Gregory S. Archer. Background and Objective: The eventual switch to Light-emitting diode (LED) light fixtures as the standard in the poultry industry has resulted in the need to re-evaluate the standard management practices relating to lighting. Comparing the effect of LEDs to compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) on production and animal welfare parameters are needed. Also with the flexibility of LED lights placement of lighting can be altered to possibly maximize production and welfare by making light uniform throughout the housing system. To determine if LEDs reduce stress and fear in broilers and to see how the placement at cage level could also impact these measures. Methodology: Three experiments were conducted. The first compared rearing layers under CFL or LED lighting. The second compared using LEDs traditionally at ceiling height versus on the cage. Finally, the last experiment compared white versus red LEDs as well as utilizing the red LEDs at cage level. Results: No differences were observed in production or egg quality between CFL and LED lighting (p>0.05). Layers reared under CFL lighting exhibited greater (p<0.05) fear during tonic immobility and greater (p<0.05) stress susceptibility compared to those reared under LED lighting. In experiment 2, rearing birds with the LEDs located on the cages or in the ceiling did not appear to impact early egg production or quality. However, in experiment 3 the percentage of hens in lay was affected by not only the spectrum of LED lighting but the placement as well with red cage birds having the most birds in lay. In experiment 2, having the light on the cage did not affect fear response. While in birds appeared more stress susceptible in experiment 2 when lighting was at the cage level, this was not true in experiment 3. In experiment 3, reddish hued LED lighting reduced stress susceptibility when it was a ceiling or cage level compared to white LED lighting. Conclusion: These results indicate that during the early lay period LED lighting can reduce fear and stress responses and placement and spectrum of the lighting can also affect these responses. Finally, these results demonstrated that reddish hued LED lighting can increase the percent of hens in lay during the start of lay.

published proceedings

  • International Journal of Poultry Science

author list (cited authors)

  • Archer, G. S.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Archer, Gregory S

publication date

  • January 2018