Lighting Wavelength for Peak Poultry Performance

Green lights, blue lights, white lights, ultraviolet lights and even colour changing jungle lights all seem to have the potential to positively influence bird performance. It just depends on what you are selling...

We see so many research papers with largely subjective views, often depending on which lighting company supplied the equipment for the trial. Everyone appears to have the winning formula for the perfect performance boosting wavelength. I look forward to reading a research paper where someone will put their hen or cock on the block and use the words “WILL improve bird performance!” Anything that reads can, may, might, could, etc may as well not be written as it means nothing.

The marketing noise can be distracting and confusing and as a lighting company, we have no choice but to keep an ear half open to all of this and do our best to filter the snake oil from the facts.

The below table includes extracts from the Hy-line, Cobb, Aviagen, Hendrix, and Lohmann Management Guides. It also includes some common sense.

As we can see from the above, the theme is that white or natural lighting is the best for your birds, just like nature intended.

There is no real preference or benefit to be enjoyed by choosing one colour temperature over another, especially for broilers. A sufficient red spectrum (warmer white) is preferable to some on the breeder and layer front. It is believed that the reduction of mortality from cannibalism and cannibalistic injuries when using a light source that peaks in the red spectrum (2700-3000K) may be that the birds cannot easily see red blood or fresh wounds.

SUNBIRD Lighting has always stuck to white light in either warm or cool depending on customer preference. These “standard” colours have contributed to many of our customers winning performance wards, like Mark Graham and Jan Powell from Cricklewood Farm in New Zealand, repeat top performers in the Ross 450 club who recently achieved an outstanding 514.26 EPEF.

L- R:   Vern Bunn, Broiler Manager, Tegel Foods Ltd.; Mark Graham & Jan Powell of Cricklewood Farm, Christchurch, New Zealand EPEF 501.03

It is one thing getting a good result in the lab, but it is a different ball game getting consistent good results in the field, in a real-life production environment.

Happy farming!

The Sunbird Team

View Management Guides mentioned in this article: