Developed by Robert Hawes, Professor Emeritus of Animal and Veterinary Science, University of Maine.
Reviewed by Richard Brzozowski,
Extension Professor, University of Maine.
It is well known that light intensity and the length of the daily light period will influence growth rate and reproduction in poultry flocks. The first person credited with using a systematic lighting pattern for laying hens was E. C. Waldorf, a medical doctor from Buffalo, New York. The year was 1889, and Dr. Waldorf’s claim that his birds averaged ten eggs per week under artificial lights probably did much to create an interest in this new management technique. However, despite subsequent favorable reports from several agricultural experiment stations, it was nearly twenty years before the practice of lighting became commonplace.
About Bulbs and Fixtures
Although incandescent bulbs have long been used in lighting for poultry, there is an increasing use of fluorescent bulbs, just as in household use. When using fluorescent fixtures, choose “warm” wavelength bulbs, which emit more rays at the red-orange wavelength. The “cool” bulbs commonly used in homes and offices are less stimulating.
If you are depending on just one bulb, be sure to check it daily and replace it immediately if it should burn out. Keep in mind that the shadows cast by equipment, cages, and dropping boards will cut down on light efficiency. In addition, dusty bulbs can cause a real decrease in intensity.
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