Light emitting diode (LED) color and broiler growth: effect of supplementing blue/green LED to white LED light on broiler growth, stress, and welfare
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Light emitting diode (LED) lighting provides an affordable lighting option for use in commercial poultry production. However, more information is needed to understand the effects of LED color on broiler welfare and growth. Five consecutive flocks (1 in summer, 1 in fall, 2 in winter, and 1 in spring) of straight run Ross 708 × Ross 708 broilers were reared in commercial type barns for 45 D. For white only (WO) treatment, birds were reared under white LED only (Agrishift MLB). For white supplemented (WS) treatment, birds were reared under white LED (Agrishift MLB) in the center aisle, with supplemental blue/green LED lighting (Agrishift MLBg) above the feed and water lines on either side of the barn. Each barn housed 26,200 chicks, and there were 2 barns in each treatment (n = 52,400/treatment). Treatments were rotated among barns between each flock. On day 45, blood samples were collected from 20 birds/barn (n = 40/treatment) to assess the plasma corticosterone (CORT) level and heterophil/lymphocyte ratio. On day 45, 100 birds/barn (n = 200/treatment) were weighed individually and assigned scores for hock burn and foot pad dermatitis. All measures were affected by trial (P < 0.001). Plasma CORT and body weight were affected by the treatment × trial interaction (P ≤ 0.001). Overall, birds in the WS treatment had higher day 45 live body weight (P < 0.001) and lower hock burn scores (P = 0.032) than birds in the WO treatment. Birds in the WS treatment had higher day 45 body weight overall (P < 0.001) and in trials 1, 3, and 5, although the overall body weight was lower in trials 1, 3, and 5 than in trials 2 and 4. Supplemental blue/green LED improved hock burn scores and increased overall day 45 body weight. However, trial differences suggest that more data are needed to determine whether supplementing blue/green LED to white LED improves body weight gain in mixed sex broiler chickens.
author list (cited authors)
Nelson, J. R., Bray, J. L., Delabbio, J., & Archer, G. S.