A comparison of white/red and white/blue LED light fixtures on Pekin duck production, stress and behaviour.
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1. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of two mixed LED light spectra on duck production, stress and fear responses. Pekin ducks were reared under either white/red (WR) or white/blue (WB) LED light.2. No differences were observed in feed conversion ratio (P=0.690) or d 35 body weight (P=0.919). Furthermore, no differences were observed in plasma interleukin-12 concentrations (P=0.449), anti-keyhole limpet haemocyanin IgG titre (P=0.503) or composite physical asymmetry score (P=0.839). WR caused lower heterophil to lymphocyte ratios (0.400.03, P =0.029) and plasma corticosterone concentrations (4498534pg/ml, P =0.038) than WB (0.580.08; 6518795pg/ml, respectively). No differences were found in the number of attempts to induce tonic immobility (TI) or in inversion intensity. A shorter latency to first head movement during TI (9.441.22 s, P =0.06) and an overall shorter latency to right from TI (25.662.99 s, P <0.001) was observed for birds under WR compared to WB (20.916.01 s; 58.768.86 s). The duration of time spent in the second stage of TI, where birds observed their environment using head movements while still remaining immobile on their backs, was shorter in WR (16.231.73 s, P =0.001) compared to WB (37.856.38 s).3. The results indicated that rearing ducks under WR caused less stress susceptibility and fear responses compared to ducks under WB. Pekin duck welfare may be compromised by blue LED light exposure, even at supplemental levels utilised in commercial poultry lighting.