Choice between LED and Fluorescent Lights by Pullets and Laying Hens

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Liu, Kai
Xin, Hongwei
Chai, Lilong
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Xin, Hongwei
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Since 1905, the Department of Agricultural Engineering, now the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE), has been a leader in providing engineering solutions to agricultural problems in the United States and the world. The department’s original mission was to mechanize agriculture. That mission has evolved to encompass a global view of the entire food production system–the wise management of natural resources in the production, processing, storage, handling, and use of food fiber and other biological products.

In 1905 Agricultural Engineering was recognized as a subdivision of the Department of Agronomy, and in 1907 it was recognized as a unique department. It was renamed the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in 1990. The department merged with the Department of Industrial Education and Technology in 2004.

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  • Department of Agricultural Engineering (1907–1990)

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Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Light plays a key role in the development, production performance, health, and well-being of poultry. Yet there are no standards regarding light type, spectrum, intensity and diurnal photoperiod for poultry production. Thus, it is of socio-economic as well as scientific values to assess light needs of pullets and laying hens, especially considering the emergence of LED lights intended for poultry production. This study assessed the choice between a commercial dim-to-red LED light (LED, correlated color temperature or CCT = 2000K) and a typical compact fluorescent light (CFL, CCT = 2700K) by Hy-Line W-36 pullets and laying hens using free-choice preference test. Three categories of birds with different prior lighting experiences were evaluated, including pullets (14-16 weeks of age) reared in incandescent light (IP), layers (44-50 weeks of age) reared and kept in LED (LL), and layers reared and kept in CFL (CL). Each bird category consisted of 12 groups (replicates), three birds per group. A 6-day preference test was performed for each group, where the birds could move freely between two inter-connected compartments that contained LED or CFL. Feed intake and time spent of birds in each light were determined using load-cell scales and automated computer vision, respectively. Behavior parameters were analyzed with generalized linear mixed models. Evaluation of the light preference was accomplished by testing the null hypothesis that the proportions of feed intake or time spent in each light under concern equaled 50%. Results showed that the birds spent significantly higher proportion of light-period time in the CFL (P = 0.011, 0.030, and 0.001 for IP, LL, and CL, respectively), regardless of their prior lighting experience (P = 0.422). Birds in all three categories had comparable proportions of daily feed intake in the LED and CFL (P = 0.419, 0.566, and 0.749 for IP, LL, and CL, respectively). The study reveals that the CFL was preferred over the LED by the pullets and layers in terms of time spent regardless of their prior lighting experience; but no distinct effect of one light vs. the other was observed on feed use.


This proceeding is from 2017 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Paper No. 1700029, pages 1-13 (doi: 10.13031/aim.201700029). St. Joseph, Mich.: ASABE.

Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2017