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Abubakar Tahir Ramay

M.Sc.( Hons ) Animal Nutrition University of Agriculture Faisalabad.

GOOD BROODING CONDITIONS FOR THE BEST STARTING OF THE CHICKS


The period from one day old to the point of first egg production is a critical time in the life of the laying hen. It is during this time that the physiological capability of the hen is developed. Success in the rearing period leads to the success in the laying house and it starts from chick arrival. All the standards and programs set forth in this section have been proven to give excellent performances in production. Any delay in growth at 4-5 weeks will be reflected in a reduction in bodyweight at 16 weeks and then in performance, particularly in mean egg weight in temperate climates or a delay in start of lay in hot climates near the Equator. Equipment and environment Floor Age (wks) Ventilation Stocking densities Cages

02 25 03 35 Minimum per hour / kg 0,7 m3 0,7 m3 0,7 m3 0,7 m3 Birds / m2 30 20 80 45 2 cm / Bird 125 220 Water supply Chicks / Chick drinker 75 80 (1) Birds / drinker 75 75 Birds / nipple 10 10 10 (2) 10 (2) Feed supply Birds / Starting pan 50 (3) cm of trough feeders 4 4 2 4 Birds / Round feeder 35 35 (1): Place one additional drinker per cage for the first week (2): Make sure that all the birds have at least an access to 2 nipples (3): Spread sheets of paper over the cage bottom to last for 7 days, remove one sheet every day Notes: The removal of the supplementary starter drinkers should be done gradually, making sure that the chicks have acquired the habit of using the other drinkers. It is useful to monitor water consumption. To maintain litter quality, it is necessary to avoid water spillage, by carefully regulating the drinkers or the nipples. The drinkers should be cleaned daily for the first 2 weeks. From the third week they should be cleaned each week.

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Standard of temperature and humidity In order to ensure that the equipment and the litter are warm at chick arrival, it is advised to raise house temperature at least 36 hours at 28 to 31C. Age (days) 03 47 8 14 15 21 22 24 25 28 29 35 After 35 Brooding temperature At the edge of the brooders 35 C 34 C 32 C 29 C At 2-3 m from the brooders 29 28 C 28 27 C 27 26 C 26 25 C 25 23 C 23 21 C 21 19 C 19 17 C Room temperature Relative humidity optimum-maximum in % 55 60 55 60 55 60 55 60 55 65 55 65 60 70 60 70

33 31 C 32 31 C 30 28 C 28 26 C 25 23 C 23 21 C 21 19 C 19 17 C

Notes: The heat losses incurred from contact with the litter are very important during the first days. Two (2) gas brooders or 2 radiant heaters of 1450 Kcal is advised for 1000 birds Temperature and relative humidity should be uniform throughout the building Distribution of chicks as the best indicator On floor system, the distribution of chicks in each pen or throughout the building will help you to manage the adapted temperature of the house. If the chicks crowd together under the brooder temperature is too low. If the chicks are close to the surround the temperature is too high Lighting program to encourage feed intake and growth Age (days) 03 47 8 14 15 21 22 24 25 28 29 35 After 35 Brooding temperature At the edge of the brooders 35 C 34 C 32 C 29 C At 2-3 m from the brooders 29 28 C 28 27 C 27 26 C 26 25 C 25 23 C 23 21 C 21 19 C 19 17 C Room temperature Relative humidity optimum-maximum in % 55 60 55 60 55 60 55 60 55 65 55 65 60 70 60 70

33 31 C 32 31 C 30 28 C 28 26 C 25 23 C 23 21 C 21 19 C 19 17 C

During the first few days, it is important to maintain the chicks under a maximum light regime (22 to 23 hours) with a quite high intensity (30-40 lux) to encourage intake of water and feed. Afterwards, the light intensity should be gradually reduced to reach a level of about 10 lux at 15 days of age in dark houses. Light intensity will depend also on bird behavior.

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Feeding program to encourage growth During this period from day old to 5 weeks old, the bird is not able to adapt its feed consumption to energy level. To encourage good growth, we recommend using a diet presented in crumb form, with an adequate concentration of protein and energy from 0 to 28 days in temperate climates and from 0 to 35 days in hot climates (in both conditions till a bodyweight of 290 g is reached). Below are some key-points to provide day old chicks with a good start. Key points: Flush the water lines prior to arrival, and make sure that no disinfectant is left in the water lines when the chicks arrive. Make sure that the nipples and round drinkers are on the correct height, nipples on eye level of the chicks, and round drinkers on the floor. Put paper under the nipples to attract the chicks & extra feed over the chick paper or paper trays. Check the nipples / round drinkers whether the water supply is sufficient. When nipples are used the chicks must see the water drop on the nipple. The feed should be distributed when the chicks have drunk enough water to restore their body fluid (about 4 hours after being placed in the brooding quarters) All these recommendations will help to: - Get a good start and a low mortality level during the first 2 weeks - A good frame and immune system - A good uniformity from the beginning

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MANAGEMENT OF PULLETS AND LAYERS IN HOT CONDITIONS 1. Introduction


The effects of heat (high temperature or humidity) can only be controlled by better husbandry techniques. In hot climates, the lower feed intake noticed is the result of the bird's reduced ability to lose heat. Pullets and laying hens should maintain their body temperature constant by adjusting their food intake according to their ability to lose heat. The lower growth rates during rearing and the reduced production during lay are only consequences of the reduction in feed consumption when the birds are incapable of regulating their temperature. Using more concentrated diets does not improve growth and production; on the other hand techniques which increase heat loss or which encourage feed consumption in the cooler parts of the day help to bring about a reduction in the impact of heat.

2. The influence of heat on the behaviour of laying hens


2.1. The effects of heat
A better understanding of the mechanisms of thermoregulation helps us to reduce the impact of heat on growth and production. Raised temperatures reduce the ability of the birds to eliminate the heat produced by their own bodies. This brings into play the mechanisms of thermoregulation, and as a consequence, if the conditions are too severe, there will be a reduction in the quantity of food consumed. Birds have to match their feed intake to their ability to eliminate the heat produced.

2.2. The mechanism of thermoregulation


Heat loss is brought about by direct exchange with the immediate exterior environment (air, litter, radiation) or through the evaporation of water via the respiratory tract. Heat exchange with the external environment (air) falls as the external temperature is increased. It depends on the difference between the ambient air temperature and the temperature of the animal itself as well as on the speed of the air movement. Blood circulation to the peripheral areas is augmented to increase the heat loss through the comb and legs and the plumage and wings are opened up. As the environmental temperature becomes more and more difficult and as the upper critical temperature is reached, the body temperature starts to increase. Heat elimination is then brought about by respiratory means. The vascular and respiratory rates increase sufficient to increase further the water loss by respiratory means, which enables the bird to increase heat loss by a similar rate (0.6 kcal are lost per 1 g of water evaporated). For a given temperature, heat loss is reduced as the humidity is increased. A relative humidity above 70% renders thermoregulation very difficult in hot humid climates. Energy intake and protein synthesis decrease as soon as the body temperature increases and the phenomenon of thermoregulation operates. The production of extra heat during the process of digestion lowers the upper critical temperature, increases body temperature and reduces the resistance to heat. Mortality can then occur. Because of this, one should avoid a situation in which the birds are in the process of digestion in the early empty by the late morning. The upper critical temperature depends on a number of factors, such as temperature and humidity of the air, speed of air movement at bird level, water temperature, the degree of feather cover and certainly on feeding times.

2.3. In conclusion
When the upper critical temperature is exceded, elimination of heat takes place via the respiratory route. The cardiac and respiratory rhythms are regulated according to body

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temperature. If the conditions are too unfavourable, body temperature can be increased until it causes the death of the bird. The increase in body temperature brings about an immediate cessation of food consumption and as a consequence a reduction in growth and productive performance. These mechanisms are shown schematically in the diagram: EFFECT OF HEAT REDUCTION IN HEAT LOSS THERMOREGULATION MECHANISM BROUGHT INTO OPERATION INCREASE IN BODY TEMPERATURE DIRECT EFFECTS INCREASE THE RATE OF HEAT LOSS - increase in external temperature - hold wings wide open - increase in water consumption - increase in respiratory rhythm INDIRECT EFFECTS REDUCE THE PRODUCTION OF HEAT - reduction in activity - reduction in production of extra heat - reduction or cessation of feed intake - reduction of protein synthesis

THE FACTOR LIMITING GROWTH OR PRODUCTION IS ENERGY INTAKE

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3. Influence of dietary energy level


Trials in both rearing and production have shown that increasing the dietary energy level does not influence dietary energy consumption. When the dietary energy concentration in the food is increased, food consumption is deceased; the actual energy intake remains constant.

3.1. Influence on growth


Heat reduces energy consumption and as a consequence growth. The dietary energy level has no effect on growth, thus showing that thermoregulation is responsible for the lower growth. Temperature / 28 days Dietary Energy 18C - 2500 kcal 18C - 3000 kcal Mean 18C 30C - 2500 kcal 30C - 3000 kcal Mean 30C Leghorn 240 260 250 234 247 241 601 650 626 591 559 575 1145 1173 1159 1049 1002 1025 1398 1434 1416 1266 1218 1242 797 784 791 658 658 658 Body weight at different ages (g) 56 days 98 days 126 days

de 56-126

Leeson S., and J.D.Summers 1997

The effect of heat shows itself from about 6 weeks of age, which is about the time, when the birds approach full plumage. It is, therefore, most important to arrange it so that excellent growth is obtained during the first 5 weeks.

3.2. Influence on production


During the laying period, energy consumption is not modified by changing the energy level of the diet. Growth and production are reduced at the same time as temperature is increased. The table below gives the results of feeding diets in which the energy level varied from 2645 to 2975 kcal/kg. These diets were fed to layers, subjected to different temperatures. The results shown are the means obtained by Zollitsch (1996) for 3 sets of temperatures over the period 20 36 weeks.

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Effect of dietary energy level on performance at different temperatures Temperature ( C ) Energy intake (kcal/day) 2645 kcal 2755 kcal 2865 kcal 2975 kcal Egg mass (g/day) 2645 kcal 2755 kcal 2865 kcal 2975 kcal Body weight at 36 wks (kg) 2645 kcal 2755 kcal 2865 kcal 2975 kcal Feed conversion (kg/kg) 2645 kcal 2755 kcal 2865 kcal 2975 kcal Feed conversion (kcal/kg) 2645 kcal 2755 kcal 2865 kcal 2975 kcal 6745 6805 6820 6990 6295 6335 6415 6455 6030 6005 6045 6130 1.53 1.53 1.59 1.60 2.55 2.47 2.38 2.35 1.48 1.51 1.54 1.54 2.38 2.30 2.24 2.17 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.31 2.28 2.18 2.11 2.06 14/16/19 297 308 310 315 44.4 45.2 45.5 45.3 21.9/24.6/27.7 273 281 288 289 43.5 44.3 44.7 44.8 30.5/33.3/35 204 207 209 205 34.4 34.8 34.8 34.5

During rearing, as in production, increasing the dietary energy level does not enable one to avoid the loss of production, which is due to the effects of heat. All techniques which allow or encourage heat loss limit the impact of heat on performance. All techniques (lighting programs, feeding timetables) which enable pullets and layers to lose the specific heat of digestion in the cooler part of the day have a positive impact.

3.3. Influence on performance


Rate of lay is generally only affected above 30C. Egg weight falls by about 0.4% per C between 23 and 27C; above 27C the decrease is about 0.8% per C. Growth at point of lay is reduced above 24C, and is extremely low above 28C. Feed conversion ratio is minimum at a temperature of about 28C; above 28C it increases, because of the fall in production. These statements are only indicatives, because speed of air movement and humidity has effects on thermoregulation.

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4. Energy intake regulation


4.1. Energy requirement
The formula which we use to estimate the energy requirement of pullets in cages is as follows:

E(kcal)= 120 W0.75 + 5 W + 1.65 EM E= daily energy requirement expressed in kcal. W = body weight in kg. W = body weight gain in g. per day EM = egg mass produced in g. per day

This equation determines the requirement at about 35 weeks of age at a time when the birds are well feathered and for a temperature of around 22 C. For a bird of 1.9 kg, producing a daily egg mass of 60 g and putting on 1 g. body weight per day, the requirement has been calculated as 313 kcal/day. The energy value of egg material, shell included is 1.65 kcal/g. When we include the energy cost of protein and fat synthesis, it takes 2.35 kcal to produce one gram of egg. The heat given off by the synthesis of egg constituents is 0.7 kcal /g, which can be used at the outer limits of the thermo neutral zone. The maintenance requirement varies according to temperature and bird body weight. It is estimated to be around 1.9 kcal per kg bodyweight per C in the temperature band 17 to 27 C. The quantity of heat to be disposed of by a chicken weighing a 1.9 kg producing 60 g of egg material per degree difference between ambient air temperature and body temperature can be estimated as:

Temperature 19 C 22 C 25 C 28 C 31 C

Requirement (kcal) 324 313 301 291 280

Energy deposited in egg (kcal) 99 99 99 99 99

Energy to eliminate (kcal) 225 214 203 192 181

kcal / C to eliminate 10,7 11,9 13,5 16 20

Where the thermoregulatory system has not been triggered, the dissipation of heat by convection is proportional to the difference between body temperature and the environmental temperature. The quantity of heat to be lost by convection increases dramatically with increases in ambient temperature. If that is not possible, the mechanisms of thermoregulation come into play gradually with effects on feed consumption.

4.2. Influence of feathering


The following trial (Peguri, 1993) studied the performance of perfectly feathered pullets compared with pullets from which 50% or 100% of the feathers had been removed between 59 and 65 weeks of age, as a function of temperature.

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Temperature in C Feed consumption Egg mass Rate of lay Food conversion ratio Heat production (g/day) (g/day (%) (g/g) (kcal/day) 23,9 33,9 23,9 33,9 23,9 33,9 23,9 33,9 23,9 33,9

100% 105 82 49,9 39,6 84,3 70 2,10 2,07 218 118

Degree of feather cover 50% 112 91 49,0 47,3 84,3 81,4 2,29 1,92 240 183

0% 128 99 47,0 43,3 77,9 75,4 2,72 2,29 289 212

At high temperatures, the food consumption and production of fully feathered birds are generally lower than of those which are only 50% feathered. This shows that in hot temperatures it is the capability to lose the heat produced, which limits production. As the temperature increases, the thermoregulatory mechanisms, spreading the wings, acceleration of cardiac and respiratory rhythms, are gradually set in motion. Increasing the speed of air movement allows an increase in the heat loss by convection. The loss of heat via the respiratory route will be dependent on the moisture content of the air, therefore, on the temperature given by a wet-bulb thermometer (hygrometer). The 3 factors which contribute towards increased heat loss are: air speed air temperature relative humidity An approximate equivalence between these 3 factors may be : 1C 4,5% RH 0,35 m/s

5. How to reduce the impact of heat?


Performance can only be maintained by facilitating heat loss and/or by allowing the birds to consume their food the cooler part of the day at which time they can more easily lose the specific heat of digestion (extra heat).

5.1. By modifying the lighting programme


The impact of high temperatures will be reduced if feed intake is encouraged in the cooler hours. We recommend giving light early in the morning and providing the birds with 1 h 30 min to 2 h light during the middle of the night. This aspect is developed further in the next section.

5.2. By changing feeding techniques


About 25% of the maintenance requirement is devoted to eating the food. The actual amount of energy expended depends on the food presentation. A diet with a good texture (80% of the particles between 0.5 and 3.2 mm) reduces the energy needed to eat the food. In this respect, the use of granular limestone (particle size 2 to 4 mm) proves to be extremely important. Any food not consumed in the evening will be eaten more easily the following morning. The finer particles are eaten more easily at "lights-on", when the digestive system is

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empty By distributing food 5 or 6 hours before "lights-out" or in the early afternoon, the birds have an appetizing food. The morning distribution can be made either during the night or 2 to 3 hours after "lights-on".

5.3. By increasing heat loss


By providing cold water: in hot climates a chicken consumes about 300 ml of water to compensate for the losses occurring through respiratory channels and for intake of cooling material. A reduction of 10C in water temperature increases it's consumption and reduces by about 1.5 % the quantity of heat to be removed. Water consumption falls when the water temperature is too high: 261 ml for a water temperature of 27C compared with 279 ml for a water temperature of 18C, in a first trial, and, 228 ml for a water temperature of 27C against 267 ml with a temperature of 23C in a second trial (Xin et al, 2002).

Air temperature 27 35 C Before heat stress Feed consumption (g/day) Body weight (kg) During 4 weeks heat stress Feed consumption (g/day) Water consumption (g/day) Body weight (kg) 27 C 105 1.64 84.3 261 1.54

Water temperature 18 C 106 1.65 87.5 279 1.56

It is important to use all means of providing a constant supply of good quality cool water (shaded water tank, buried mains pipes).

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Patterns of food consumption during a 4 week period of thermal stress, expressed as a percentage of that in the pre-experimental period as affected by temperature of drinking water.
Percentage

115 110 105 100 95 90 85 80 75 70 65 week 0 T:22C week 1 T:27- 35C week 2 T:27- 35C week 3 T:27- 35C
Weeks
.....RoomTemperature : 27-35C..

temperature of water : 27C temperature of water : 18C

week 4 T:27- 35C

week 5 T:22C

week 6 T:22C

In extremely hot periods, soluble aspirin can be used for it's fever reducing effects, at a rate of 0.3 g per liter of water. Vitamin C, at a dose of 1 g per liter of water, will stimulate consumption of both food and water. By reducing ambient temperature: by insulating the roof with special insulation or simply with palm leaves or reeds, the radiant heat is reduced, and penetration of sunrays can be avoided by using large roof overhangs. By facilitating heat loss: Californian cages are preferable to standard battery units. They create less obstruction to air circulation and allow the birds to put their heads out of the cages, because the comb is a very important organ of thermoregulation. By increasing speed of air movement: increasing the speed at which the air moves increases the heat loss by exchange between the body and the ambient air. This technique has the advantage of being very effective, without changing the relative humidity, because it does not change the capacity for pulmonary evaporation. It is considered that an increase in air speed of 0.35 m/sec reduces the "effective" temperature by around 1C. This seems valid for temperatures below 30C. Above 35C, the efficacy of air speed is reduced progressively. On the other hand excessive air speeds can lead to over-consumption of food. Longitudinal ventilation of buildings makes very high air speeds, (around 2 m/sec), possible, uniform and easy to regulate. Air movement fans can increase air movement at bird level. The air speeds, thus created do, nevertheless, lack uniformity and are generally inadequate. For floor housing units, with natural ventilation, we recommend reducing the cross sectional area of the inlets, so as to increase air speed at bird level (by hanging a netting windbreak or a plastic sheet on the inner edge of the roof). The system to choose depends on the risks, to which the buildings are exposed (orientation of the building, climate, frequency and severity of heat waves). Whichever system is accepted, it should be possible to regulate air speed and to obtain air circulation at bird level and between the birds. Dependent variables are temperature, relative humidity, age of birds

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and plumage quality. Only, by observing bird behaviour, will one be able to choose the correct air speed. Too high an air speed can be a cause of enteritis. By cooling the air: Pad Cooling is based on the capacity to cool air by evaporating water. It is particularly appropriate in dry areas. Its efficacy depends on having all the moisture in the exterior air retained within the system. This technique, by reducing the ambient temperature, makes it possible for the birds to lose more heat by convection (by exchange with the ambient air), but it has the disadvantage that it reduces the scope for losses of latent heat (brought about by respiratory means). In effect, air carrying too much moisture can reduce in a critical way the capacity for pulmonary evaporation and can bring about disastrous results. This is what happens in thundery weather. The threshold temperature leading to suffocation of the birds really amounts to a measure of the increased relative humidity. Pad Cooling combines the beneficial effects of air cooling and air speed.

6. Role and importance of light in hot climates


6.1. Lighting during rearing 6.1.1. Influence of length of lighting period on feed consumption and growth
Lighting programs play a determinant role on the growth of pullets by 3 main ways: -they control the gradual development of the digestive system, -they allow gradual entrainment to photo biological rhythms (especially the anticipation of a time for "lights-out"), -they create a nocturnal energy deficit at a young age, when the length of the dark period is too long. Photo-biological rhythms and feeding behaviour In the young chick, the crop is poorly developed. The food consumption is proportional to the length of the lit period. As it grows older, the chicken changes it's feeding behaviour: it gradually increases it's food intake during the second and third hour preceding "lights-out", so as to satisfy it's nocturnal energy requirements. The crop develops progressively so that it can store the food. According to Buyse (1993), the digestive tract at "lights-out" only contains 75 % of the nocturnal energy requirements of pullets subjected to a night of 10 hours duration. The specific feeding patterns of birds are bound up with the satisfying of their nocturnal energy requirements. The nocturnal deficit is proportional to the length of the dark period. At young ages, it is difficult to obtain good growth, when night durations are long, because the crop is poorly developed in the young chick. The amount of food contained in the crop is relatively low during daytime, but increases markedly towards "lights-out". From a practical point of view, growth will be encouraged by having a feed distribution in the 3 hours preceding "lights-out". The smaller particles, which are less appetizing, are more easily consumed after "lights-on", when the pullets are hungry.

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Length of lit period and growth The length of the period of lighting plays a dominant role in deciding the growth rate of young birds. For that reason, we advise using a decreasing light program, with a relatively long day length at the start of rearing. The program, which we recommend is given later.

Age from 4 - 7 days 2nd week 3rd week 4th week 5th week 6th week 7th week 8th week Bodyweight at 56 days (g) 20 16 12 8 8 8 8 8 678

Daylength (hours / day) 20 16 15 14.5 14 13.5 13 12.5 731 (+ 8%) 24 R.S.T. Eikelborn

6.1.2. Control of sexual maturity


Variability of sexual maturity Sexual maturity varies according to changes in day length during the rearing period. With increasing day lengths, it is advanced; with decreasing day lengths, it is retarded. The difference in sexual maturity noted between spring and autumn depends on the range of the variation in day length.

Latitude

10 30 40 50 60

Difference in sexual maturity observed between spring and autumn at different latitudes 3.days 12 days 18 days 26 days 41 days Morris 1967

Lighting programs are used to control the age at start of lay and to avoid the adverse influences, which the variations in sexual maturity can have on performance (number and average weight of eggs). At latitudes close to the equator, they are not so useful. Sexual maturity in the absence of photo-stimulation At latitudes close to the equator, and in the absence of light stimulation, we have noticed that the principal factor triggering sexual maturity has been body weight. A 10% rate of lay was obtained, when the ISABROWN reached a body weight of 1.600 g. Light-stimulation is not necessary to trigger sexual maturity. In this instance, body weight plays an important role in triggering sexual maturity and length of lighting period plays a dominant role in promoting growth.

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Any light stimulation leads to a change in the body weight at sexual maturity and the adult body weight. Disappointing results can be expected when pullets are stimulated at body weights, which are too low. Night lighting Giving a period of around 2 hours light in the middle of the night, starting at about 6 or7 weeks of age can be a good way of improving growth in a hot climate. Night lighting makes it impossible to use light stimulation, because the pullets reconstruct their own effective day length from the periods of light and dark. In hot climates, the objective is to make sure that the pullets do not start laying at too low body weights, because pullets, which are too light at start of lay have lower production and are also prone to prolapse.

6.2. Lighting during lay 6.2.1. Length of lighting period during lay
Continuous lighting program The duration of lighting during lay directly influences food consumption and performance. The trials below show that food consumption is dependent on the length of light and of the length of dark they give the mean feed consumption as a function of the length of the period of light in grams per day. LEWIS (1996) Food consumption Duration of lighting between 182-and 210 from 1 to 215 days days 8h 112.7 10 h 111.3 13 h 116.5 18 h 122.3 MORRIS (1995) Duration of lighting Food consumption from 1 to 72 from 20 to 72 weeks. weeks. 8h 114.8 11 h 119.8 15 h 123.4

In a hot climate, a night of short duration allows the birds to consume food during the cooler hours. As for productivity, it is determined by the level of feed consumption. Lighting in the middle of the night It has become current practice, that lighting in the middle of the night is used, to increase food consumption at start of lay, or to increase food consumption in a hot climate, or to improve the quality of eggshell. The results obtained by Grizzle (1992) are as follows: Period of lighting 6 - 22 h 4 - 20 h 6-20 h and 23-1 h Food consumption Exp. 1 127.7 128.8 131.9 (g/day) Exp. 2 116.8 118.1 122.0 Egg specific gravity Exp. 1 Exp. 2 1.0722 a 1.0790 a 1.0714 b 1.0792 a 1.0726 a 1.0806 b

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Para Grizzle, la mejora de la calidad de la cscara se debe a la posibilidad de que las gallinas consuman pienso en mitad de la noche. Harms (1996) ha realizado distintas experiencias en varias naves dando 45 minutos de luz en mitad de la noche. Su conclusin es que el alumbrado en mitad de la noche puede mejorar la calidad de la cscara pero que, para ello, es necesario hacer un reparto de pienso en el momento del encendido de luz nocturno.

6.2.2. Lighting timetable


In hot climates, by providing lights in the middle of the night and early in the morning, the birds are enabled to eat food during the cooler hours, and thermoregulation is made easier. Giving lights from 3am to 7pm and at night from 22.30 to 0-0.30 o'clock in the morning appears to be the programme adopted in most hot countries, between latitudes 20 north and 20 south. This timetable is well suited to the following food distribution programs: -a distribution during the last 6 hours in the afternoon ( around 100g) -a distribution during the night or 2 to 3 hours after "lights-on". In either case the quantity of food distributed should be such, that the the feeders will be empty by the end of the morning. Doing this enables the birds to avoid producing heat from digestion during the hottest part of the day.

6.3. Time of lay


In hot periods, the times of oviposition and, therefore, calcification are generally brought forward by 2 to 3 hours. The majority of hens finish their calcification after "lights-on"

6.4. Practical applications


The lighting programmes used to have 2 main objectives: To control growth and to control sexual maturity. To avoid delaying sexual maturity and the decrease in the number of eggs produced, it is most important to encourage growth by all means during the growing period, and especially in the early weeks, by having the correct body weight at 4 weeks of age. Principles Body weight at 4 weeks is a milestone parameter, essential for meeting the target growth curve and the later development of a good appetite. It is because of this that there is interest in using a decreasing light program in the early weeks. Early development of digestive capacity, helps to obtain good food consumption at point of lay. Providing food in meals (mornings and evenings) helps develop the digestive tract and avoid the harmful effects of a build up of fine particles in the feeders. In equatorial areas, when rearing is in open sided buildings, sexual maturity in the ISABROWN is mainly determined by reaching a body weight of 1600 g at 10 % lay. The low intensities of the artificial lights usually used have relatively little influence on sexual maturity. Sexual maturity depends on the age at which the body weight of 1600 g is reached. The risks of prolapse at start of lay are thus minimised. In very bright poultry houses, the artificial light is only effective if it is used in the mornings. This is able to trigger activity and food consumption in the coolest period. On the other hand, artificial light used at night, needs to have very high intensities to be effective, which is never the case.

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The use of a very slowly decreasing light programme throughout the first 13 weeks encourages growth. When it is very difficult to obtain growth in a very hot period, a period of about 2 hours light given in the middle of the night, starting from 6 or 7 weeks of age can be practiced. A proposed lighting programme Example of a lighting programme for use in hot countries, between latitudes 20 north and 20 south. (+ 2 h) artificial light given in the middle of the night to encourage food consumption. Age 4 to 7 days 8 -to14 days 15 to 21 days 22 to 35 days 36 to 49 days 50 to 63 days 64 to 77 days 78 to 91 days 92 to 98 days 99 - 105 days After 106 days At 5 % lay After 35 % lay After 60 % lay Daily period of lighting 22 h 20 h 19 h 18 h 17 h 16 h 15 h 14 h 13 h 1/2 13 h Natural light 14 h (+ 1 h) 15 h (+ 2 h) 16 h (+ 2 h) Intensity (lux) 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40

7. Feeding: requirements and feeding timetables


7.1. Requirements
Energy requirements Chickens regulate their feed consumption quite well according to the energy level of the food. This can vary within relatively wide limits. The choice of energy level depends more on economic than nutritional considerations. At high temperatures, energy intake is hardly influenced by the dietary energy content. Food consumption is often determined according to thermoregulatory capabilities. To avoid any under-consumption at point of lay, the energy level of the "layers" diet should have an energy content which is equal to, or higher than, that of the "growers" diet. We recommend that the energy level be kept constant throughout the laying period.

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Protein requirements Productivity in a chicken is highly dependent on the daily intake of protein and amino acids. About 70 to 75% of the amino acids assimilated by a chicken are used directly for the production of egg material. Any deficiency will result in reduced production (rate of lay and egg weight) and an increase in the food conversion ratio. In this case, 2/3 of the reduction of the egg mass is due to a lowering of rate of lay and 1/3 to a reduction in egg weight; this relationship seems to apply to each of the essential amino acids especially sulphur amino acids and lysine. In hot climates, the energy requirements are reduced and the daily feed consumption is lower; therefore, it is advisable to use diets containing a higher amino acid concentration. It's a fact, that for a given level of production, the requirement for amino acids remains constant. Recommendations Our nutritional recommendations are published in our management guide.

7.2. Food presentation


During rearing Feed consumption is highly dependent on it's presentation and on the development of the digestive tract. Supplying the food in crumb form makes it easier for the bird to eat, reducing the time taken in feeding and encouraging growth. The extra cost may well be compensated for, by an improvement in food conversion ratio. Feed presentation form Mash Granule Body weight at 70 days 984 1016 (g) Body weight at 99 days 1344 1405 (g) Body weight at 123 days 1589 1664 (g) Essai HUBBARD ISA/CNEVA 1996 Difference + 32 g + 61 g + 75 g

In reality food is only presented as crumbs, when a good quality crumb is available to the birds in the feeders. Poor quality crumbs only lead to an accumulation of fine particles in the feeders and, therefore, give the opposite effect to that in the above research. From 0 to 4/5 weeks, we recommend using a diet presented as crumbs, and after that a mash of good texture should be used. Using food with a good texture, providing grit and/or using a granular limestone starting from 10 weeks all helps to promote gizzard development. From 10 weeks it is desirable to give 50 % of the calcium in granular form. During lay The attractiveness of a food depends to a large extent on it's texture. In theory, presenting food in crumb or pellet form, will lead to an increase in food consumption, provided that the technology and the raw materials used give the hens access to a good quality crumb.

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Very often, difficulties in ensuring a good quality crumb in the feeder result in under consumption because: - the crumbs disintegrate in the distribution system - there is an accumulation of fine particles in the feeders. The table below shows the results obtained by Summers and Leeson (1979) when they compared a fine textured mash diet with a diet containing 60 % cracked maize and whole barley. Cracked maize and whole barley 114.5 86.9 59.6 Mash 102.0 85.1 56.8

Consumption (g) Rate of lay (%) Egg weight (g)

In a hot climate, a diet with good texture can help reduce the degree of under consumption observed in summer conditions. For this reason, we advise having a diet with a minimum of 75 to 80 % of the particles between 0.5 and 32 mm diameter Using such a diet becomes even more attractive, because it is less onerous and the output of the grinding equipment is higher. - particles of less than 0.5 mm diameter : 15 % maximum - particles of more than 32 mm diameter : 5 % maximum These recommendations are just as relevant to the diets used for rearing from 4 to 5 weeks of age. Getting the fine particles to stick together markedly improves the attractiveness of the diet. This can be achieved by incorporating from 1 to 2 % vegetable oil.

7.3. Feeding timetable


Feeding techniques during rearing The techniques used during the period 4 to 16 weeks have as their objective: - to avoid the build up of fine particles - to have rapid food consumption so as to develop the crop - to have the correct texture so as to develop the gizzard. The build up of fine particles in the feeding system leads to under consumption. It is, therefore, essential that the feeders are emptied every day. Feeding timetables : The birds automatically have main feeding periods in the evening and the morning. For that reason, the feeders should be empty in the middle of the day. To obtain rapid food consumption, we advise distributing all the food about 3 hours before "lights-out". The actual time of feeding should be such that about 50 % of the food is eaten the following morning.

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Feeding techniques during production The timetable for food distribution should take into account the behaviour of the birds : - 50 % of the food is automatically consumed during the last 5 to 6 hours of the day, as the table below shows. - The build up of fine particles, which is responsible for under consumption, should be avoided. - The feeders should be empty for 2 to 3 hours in the middle of the day, so as to avoid under consumption and the production of heat of digestion during the hottest part of the day. Period of the day 3.h to 9 h 9.h to 15 h 15.h to 17 h Gabarou (1998) Here are some examples of feed distribution timetables : - 2 distributions: at leasr 2/3 of the food will be distributed about 6 hours before "lights-out" and the remaining 1/3 about 2 to 3 hours after "lights-on". - 3 distributions: The first will be made at about 6 hours before "lights-out", the second at about 3 hours before "lights-out", the third will be about 2 to 3 hours after "lights-on". - 4 distributions: the same timetable as for three distributions with an extra distribution during the night. % of time devoted to feeding 24 28 42 Quantity eaten in g / hour 6.2 7.4 13.5

8. Practical applications and conclusions


In summary, the techniques to use are as follows: During rearing: 10 important points. - use a slowly decreasing programme - give lights early in the morning to encourage feeding during the cooler part of the day - starting from 6 or 7 weeks, give 2 hours light during the night if necessary - use a food in crumb form during the first 5 weeks (meat type chick diet) - after 5 weeks, use a diet in quality crumb form or one having a very good texture - avoid the accumulation of fine particles by having the feeders empty in the middle of the day - distribute the food 3 hours before "lights-out" - make cool water of good bacteriological quality available - employ high quality beak trimming - weigh regularly

Lighting

Food presentation

Feeding timetable

Good husbandry

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During production: 10 important points. - Encourage food consumption during the cooler parts of the day : - by giving lights early in the morning - by giving 2 hours light during the night from 5 % lay - use a food of good texture - supply 70 % of the calcium in granular form - use a protein level to match food consumption - distribute 2/3 of the food about 6 hours before "lights-out", so that the birds have food available at night and in the morning - distribute 1/3 of the food 2 to 3 hours after "lights-on" - avoid an accumulation fine feed particles by ensuring that the feeders are empty in the middle of the day - avoid having the birds digesting feed early in the afternoon - provide a supply of cool water of good bacteriological quality - weigh the birds regularly

Lighting

Food quality

Feeding timetable

Good husbandry

The harmful effects of heat, which affect both growth and production, can be reduced considerably by recognising the physiological requirements of the birds. The building should be constructed or adapted so that there is good air speed at bird level. Roof insulation reduces the temperature to which the birds are subjected. Artificial lighting and night lighting allow the birds to eat their food in the coolest parts of the day, which turns out to be very effective. An appetising diet, of good texture, and an appropriate feeding timetable allow the birds to increase their food intake A building with an insulated roof, good air speed at bird level, a constant supply of cool water, a program of artificial light; all promote heat loss. All these additional measures with some others enable us in most cases, to limit the problems caused by high temperatures. The results obtained depend to a large extent on diligent everyday care of the birds.

References:
Bougon (1996) Buyse et al (1993) Gabarou et al (1998) Grizzle et al (1992) Leeson et al (1997) Lewis et al (1996) Morris (1995) Morris (1967) Xin et al (2002) Zollitsch et al (1996) Report to Itavi Seminar1996 British Poultry Science 34 : 699 709 British Poultry Science 39 : 79 - 89 British Poultry Science 33 : 781 - 794 Commercial Poultry Nutrition 2nd Edition British Poultry Science 37 : 279 - 293 British Poultry Science 36 : 763 - 769 Environmental Control in Poultry Production. Carter.(Ed.):15 39 Summers et al (1979) British Poultry Science 81 : 608 - 617 International Symposium on Requirements of Poultry and Swine. Ed. Rostagno

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OVIPOSITION TIMES AND SHELL QUALITY


Shell quality depends on the amount of calcium present in the digestive tract during formation. Taking into account the timing of egg laying and thus the timing of shell formation, allows us to adapt feeding times to satisfy the calcium needs of the bird. A reminder on egg formation - Ovulation: Ovulation occurs in the 5 to 10 minutes that follow the expulsion of the previous egg. - Entry in the Uterus: After the secretion of the albumen and the shell membrane, the egg enters the uterus about 5 hours after ovulation. - Hydration of the Albumen: This phase lasts about 6 hours. - Calcium Deposition 2 Phases: - 1st Phase. During the first 5 hours following entry into the uterus, calcium crystals begin to form. - 2nd Phase. Begins about 10 hours after ovulation and lasts for about 12 hours. During this time 90% of the calcium is deposited on the shell at a rhythm of 180 to 200 mg of calcium per hour. (see graph below). - Pigmentation: For brown eggs layers, deposits of pigments (ooporphyrins) occur at the end of shell formation and at the beginning of formation hours. - Cuticle formation: Cuticle is deposited in the following 2 hours. Laying Times or Oviposition times Laying times are determined by the lights out time. Many experiments have shown that they vary very little from one flock to another. The graph given below shows the evolution of time of lay as a function of time elapsed after lights out.

Oviposition times and shell quality

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Progress of egg laying during the day as a function of time elapsed after lights out for brown and white layers

Hours after light on

Change in the weight of the shell (g) as a function of time elapsed after last egg

Hours after oviposition Nys (1986)

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Shell Formation For a light duration of 16 hours: - for brown layers: around 40 % of birds have finished their calcium deposit at light on and on average birds begin shell formation 4 hours before lights out - for white layers: around 50 % of birds have finished their calcium deposit 3h30 after light on and in average birds begin shell formation just before lights out Calcification of the shell is mainly realised during the night. A high percentage of brown birds stop calcification at lights on or just after while white layers finished their shell after lights on. A reminder of Shell Formation During shell formation the bird first uses the calcium contained in the digestive tract, it is dissolved by abundant secretion of Hydrochloric acid. When the quantity of calcium is insufficient, the bone reserves are used (the calcium is deposited and the phosphorus eliminated by the kidneys). It has been demonstrated many times that birds which are forced to use their bone reserves, produce eggs of poorer shell quality. Shell quality depends on the quantity of calcium remaining in the gizzard at lights on for brown and the ability for white birds to access to soluble form of calcium after lights on. How to improve shell quality All methods that help to increase the quantity of calcium stocked in the gizzard have a positive effect on shell quality (strength and colour) and help to ingest a soluble form of calcium after lights on. Accordingly, we advise as from transfer:

For Brown Layers: - encourage maximum food intake during the last 6 hours of the day (distribute 6 - 7 hours before lights out). - arrange to have feeders empty in the middle of the day to encourage food intake in the afternoon. - distribute feed during the night in the light period of 1-2 hours, 4 hours after lights out if midnight light is used or at lights on. - ensure that the calcium content of the feed has at least 70% in particles of 2 to 4 mm to encourage retention in the gizzard and storage for the night period. - provide 30% of the calcium in easily soluble powder form for quick availability at lights on.

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For White Layers: - encourage maximum food intake during the last 4 hours of the day (distribute 4 hrs before lights out). - arrange to have feeders empty in the middle of the day to encourage food intake in the afternoon. - ensure that the calcium content of the feed has 50% in particles of 2 to 4 mm to encourage retention in the gizzard and storage for the night period. - provide 50% of the calcium in easily soluble powder form for quick availability at lights on.

Important Remark : During hot season or in summer, heat stress delays the oviposition time mainly when birds are in panting situation. Panting provokes a loss of carbon dioxide and bicarbonate in blood plasma. As a consequence, oviposition times are delayed. Maximum of feed has to be given during midnight lighting and early in the morning to maintain production and shell quality.

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TRANSFER AND START OF LAY


The transfer from the rearing farm to the laying facilities is a major stress, accompanied by changes in environment (temperature, humidity) and equipment. It should be carried out as fast as possible, ideally being completed within a day. Then, between transfer and the peak of production, a rapid increase in feed intake is necessary since the bird has to cover: - its growth till adult bodyweight - its requirements to achieve peak of production - its requirements to get a rapid egg weight increase Age of transfer We advise transferring the birds at 16 weeks, maybe even at 15 weeks, but never after 17 weeks. Because of stress to which birds are subjected during transfer and immediately afterwards: It is extremely important that transfer has been completed before the appearance of the first eggs: most development of reproductive organs (ovary and oviduct) occurs during the 10 days prior to the first egg. We advice that vaccinations are given at least a week before transfer, so as to obtain a good vaccine take. De-worming of the flock, if necessary, is best done 3 days before moving A late transfer or a too long transfer often leads to delayed start of lay and higher mortality and increases the risk of floor laying in non-cage systems. Points of attention at loading and transport The following rules should minimize stress at handling of the birds at loading and during later transport: The birds should have an empty digestive tract at the moment of loading, but they must have access to fresh drinking water up to the time of being loaded. Chose the best time for transport during the day of night depending on the weather. Crates or containers, equipments, trucks etc. must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected Make sure that air may circulate freely around the crates, but protect pullets from direct air flow. Containers or crates should not be overloaded, particularly in hot weather on long distance hauls. Avoid unnecessary stops during transit of the birds. Lighting as a tool for encouraging a rapid adaptation to a new environment Immediately after the birds arrive to the laying unit, it is very important to put into practice the following techniques to help the birds to become adapted to the new environment, particularly to cages and nipple systems. Give 22 hours of light the first day Light duration should be decided according to what has been used during rearing Increase the light intensity for 4 to 7 days to help the birds in the darkest cages to find nipples. Then reduce light intensity gradually while ensuring that normal water intake continues. A high light intensity for longer than 7 days can increase the risks of pecking

Transfer and start of lay

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Encouraging water consumption Birds can become dehydrated during transfer. The water loss rate ranges between 0.3 % and 0.5 % per hour according to atmospheric conditions. Pullets should drink before feeding : the absence of feed helps them find the nipple drinkers more easily Make sure that the water pipe have been rinse before pullets arrival Wait for 3 or 4 hours before distributing feed and check if drinking system is working properly If the pullets have not been reared on nipples, decrease the pressure and allow some leakage of water during the first few days If nipples are foreseen in production, it is helpful to add at least one nipple for 200 birds to the other drinking equipment used in rearing, as a nipples school. A daily water consumption control is of paramount importance Feeding for physiological needs About 2 weeks before the first egg is laid, the medullary bone, which acts as a reservoir of calcium for egg shell formation, develops. Therefore a pre-lay diet needs to be used, containing enough calcium and phosphorus, for this bone formation. This diet should be switched to a layer diet as soon as production reaches 2 % to avoid some birds demineralization. Then, an early lay feed with a high content of amino acids (about 7 % higher than after peak diet) should be used. This feed needs to satisfy requirements for early production, growth and reproductive development.

Encouraging feed consumption From the start of lay to the peak of production, feed consumption should increase by about 40 % to allow the birds to meet their requirements for egg production and growth. To encourage bird appetite and feed intake, the following advices should be put into practice: Maintain the temperature at point of lay as close as possible to which the birds have become acclimatised during rearing. Growth at point of lay is reduced above 24C, and is extremely low above 28C. Minimize house temperature variations and avoid draughts Use an adapted light duration, achieving 15 hours of light at 50 % of production Providing 1h30 to 2 h of supplementary light in the middle of the dark period will help to attain the correct body weight by allowing an extra feed intake (midnight feeding). Limit the number of feed distributions according to equipment to avoid selective feeding and competition for large particles which could lead to lack of uniformity. Adapt the feeding times as to achieve 60 % of the feed eaten in the last 6 hours of the day and to have empty feeders for 2 to 3 hours in the middle of the day. This technique avoids building up of fine particles and its consequent negative effect on feed intake. Use a layer feed with the correct grist (80 % of particles between 0.5 and 3.2 of diameter)

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Monitoring environmental and production parameters A close control of the following parameters will help you to check the real evolution of the flock during this critical period for the future performances: - Feed consumption (daily) - Water consumption (daily) and water/feed ratio - Temperature (min max) and relative humidity (daily) - Evolution of body weight (weekly until peak of lay), by weighing the birds up to 35 weeks of age - Evolution of egg weight (daily for the first weeks of lay

Transfer and start of lay

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OD F

OLLOW UP WITH A WEEKLY CONTROL OF THE GROWTH

A GOOD FOLLOW UP WITH A WEEKLY CONTROL OF THE GROWTH


A weekly control of the growth is a must to check the real evolution of the flock: the earlier you know the earlier you can correct. Targets in rearing: - To produce a uniform flock and a weight, which is compatible with the intended age at sexual maturity - To obtain the correct bodyweight at 4 weeks to secure frame development - To achieve steady growth between 4 and 16 weeks with a good development of the digestive tract Targets in production: - To make sure that between 5% lay and peak production the bodyweight increase is at least 300 g. For these reasons it is essential to exercise control over bodyweight on a weekly basis from 0 to 30 weeks. - Controlling the quantity of feed issued will not on its own ensure good growth because the requirements vary according to: - the energy level of the diet - the house temperature - The health status of the flock Method of weighting The time of weighing should be fixed, preferably in the afternoon. We advise carrying out individual weighing. A practical method is to use weighing sheets, which allow us to put the weights straight into a histogram. This shows at glance the weight distribution within the population.

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Sampling Technique For floor rearing situations, make a lightweight wire netting pen, and then walk into the middle of the flock and surround a group of birds. Individually weigh all the birds in that pen. A sample with a minimum of 100 birds gives a good estimate of mean bodyweight and uniformity. However, if the flock is divided into separate pens, it is necessary to take a sample of 50 birds from each pen and then to calculate the overall mean. When rearing in cages, one should weigh all the birds from 5 or 6 cages chosen at random in different parts of the poultry house to make up a sample. - Global weighing between 0 and 4 weeks old. As Uniformity is very difficult to measure during this period - Weekly individual weighing from 4 till 26 weeks old - From 26 till 35 weeks old, weigh every 2 weeks - From 35 weeks old, once a month Uniformity The quality of a flock is judged, as much as anything else, by its uniformity. A batch is uniform when all the weights within the sample fall between plus and minus 20 % of the mean or, when 80 % of the weights lie within + 10 and -10 % of the mean. Within the limits of plus or minus 20 % of the mean, the smallest and the heaviest pullets are of the same quality. Only those birds which are too small should be culled. If uniformity is outside the target range, it is necessary to identify the causes and to chec: - the feeder space and position - the speed of the feed chain - the quality of beak trimming - the vaccination status - for disease and parasitism.. etc. In all cases underweight birds should be corrected or culled by eight weeks of age. In cages, we recommend that the lightest birds be sorted out frequently from six weeks and be put in the top row and that checks are made that there is the same number of birds in each cage.

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BEAK TRIMMING, A DELICATE OPERATION


This operation is normally carried out for two main reasons: - to prevent feather pulling and cannibalism - to reduce feed wastage Beak trimming is a delicate operation: only specially trained personnel should perform it. When it is improperly done, the result may be birds having difficulties with eating and drinking and unevenness in the flock. Age of beak trimming The decision about age of beak trimming depends mostly on the housing system: Production in cages, in dark houses, when the intensity of artificial light is low, beaks should be trimmed at day-old or at about 10 days. Production in cages or floor system, in open-sided houses, giving exposure to high natural light intensity, one single beak tipping at 10 days will not prevent pecking entirely. Under these conditions, beak trimming should be carried out twice: a light tipping at 10 days and then a second operation between 8 and 10 weeks of age. Production in alternative systems that allow access to outdoor natural light areas: beak trimming should be conducted twice also as above. In addition to technical recommendations, any codes and local regulations concerned with animal welfare should be observed. Beak trimming at day old The biggest advantage of beak trimming at day old in the hatchery before delivery of the chicks is that it is convenient and has quite low costs. It should be properly performed to avoid start up problems and to minimize excessive later growing out of beak. The beak of the chick trimmed at day old is still sensitive; to ensure an easy access to drinking water in the rearing farm, it is important to use sideways activated nipples, nipple drinkers with cups or starting mini drinkers. Main methods utilised for beak trim birds at day old are: - Robotic beak trimming machine - Laser technique Beak trimming at 7 - 10 days Early precision beak trimming at 7-10 days has the advantage that when carried out properly, there is just a minimum effect on bodyweight development. Also it is not necessary in most circumstances to beak trim the birds a second time in the rearing period. Method Choose carefully the correct diameter hole on the beak-tipping machine, so as to cut the beak at least 2 mm from the nostrils. Hold the chick in one hand, with the thumb behind the head, holding the head firmly in position resting the beak on the forefinger Tilt the chicks beak upwards at an angle of 15 above horizontal and cauterize the reinforced side edges of the beak, to avoid unequal re-growth of the 2 mandibles. Cauterization contact time should be between 2 and 2.5 seconds Check the temperature of the blade (600 - 650 C), for each operator and machine every hour

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Beak trimming at 8 10 weeks A late beak trimming is recommended under certain conditions, especially when light intensity cannot be controlled (open-sided houses). The advantage of this method is that a very precise beak trimming can be carried out. The main disadvantage is that when it is improperly done, it can take too long for the birds to regain bodyweight development. Method Insert a finger between the 2 mandibles Cut the beak perpendicularly at a right angle to its long axis, so that after cauterization about half of the length of the beak between the tip and nostrils is left Cauterize each mandible with care, particularly at the sides of the beak, so as to round off the sides of the beak and avoid lateral re-growth Check regularly the temperature of the blade (650 - 750 C) Beak trimming at transfer A very late operation is not recommended since the pullets are very close to maturity and will have short time to recover to normal feed intake and body weight. However, during transfer it is advisable to re-check the beaks and, if necessary, to touch up the beaks of any birds which require it, when it is allowed by the regulations of the particular country. Before beak trimming: attention points: Do not beak trim birds if the flock is not in good health or if it is suffering from vaccine reactions Add vitamin K to the drinking water 48 hours prior to trimming and after to prevent haemorrhages Check the equipment and make sure that the trimming blade has the right temperature to cauterize but not so high to form a blister on the beak later During beak trimming: attention points: Operator should be seated comfortably in such a way as each beak will be cut in the same manner Do not rush the process: a too high rate (number of birds/minute) could lead to a higher chance of errors and poor uniformity. Clean the blades with sandpaper after use of 5.000 chicks, and renew them after 20.000 to 30.000 chicks Make sure the tongue of the bird does not get burned After beak trimming: attention points Increase the water level in the drinkers and the pressure in the pipes to make it easy for the birds to drink Make sure that the depth of the feed is adequate, do not empty the feeders for a week following beak trimming Beak trimming is a very delicate operation and it is important enough to be done right. Failure to beak trim properly can damage bird live ability and uniformity and consequently affect negatively to overall flock performances.

Beak trimming, a delicate operation

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FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE EGG WEIGHT: HOW TO CHANGE IT TO MEET MARKET REQUIREMENTS
Abstract: The ability to make significant changes to egg weight enables the egg producer to adapt to market demands. By changing the age at sexual maturity, or the body weight at start of lay, it is possible to change egg weight by 1 to 3 g. Incorporating oil in the diet raises feed intake and can cause an increase of 2 g in mean egg weight. This effect only occurs, when non-saturated fats are used. Reducing the level of one or several amino acids can lead to a decrease in egg weight, but always results in a reduced rate of lay. Finally, the use of cyclical lighting patterns can increase mean egg weight by 1 to 1.5 g, without affecting the total egg mass. The use of these patterns does, however, require the use of buildings, which are almost light proof. These effects enable us to obtain worthwhile changes in egg weight.

1. Introduction
The control of egg size is an extremely important facility to the egg producer. He should seek the best compromise between market demand for size and the best shell quality possible. Too low an egg weight often leads to a reduction in income and too heavy an egg weight tends to result in an increase in the proportion of downgrades towards the end of lay. The breeder seeks the best compromise. In hot countries, or in summer, heat has a marked limiting effect on feed intake and causes a reduction in performance. Good management of the lighting program and good control of feeding timetable allows us to reduce the harmful effects of high temperatures. The producer can change average egg weight appreciably (say 2 to 3 g) by altering the age at sexual maturity or by changing the body weight of the pullet at sexual maturity. The use of unsaturated oils enables us to increase egg weight by 1 to 2 g. Reducing egg weight by lowering the dietary amino acid content is hardly practicable because of the reduction in rate of lay, which it induces. The use of cyclical lighting programmes in blacked out buildings enables us to increase egg weight by 1.5 to 2 g. The scope for changing egg weight considerably by these techniques really does exist. In this article, we will only deal with those techniques, which can easily be put to use by the egg producer or the nutritionist.

2. Genetic aspects
Management techniques and nutritional characteristics of the diet can both change egg weight. The breeding company defines his objectives according to the position of his strain relative to the requirements of his clients. Each strain has, therefore, a potential range of egg weights, which can vary by about 3.5 g. For some strains a real effort has been made to reach marketable egg weights rapidly from start of lay while avoiding an increase in egg weight at the end of lay. To illustrate this, we have taken the results of the Leystad Random Sample Test (2000) for the main brown egg strains. These tests have the merit of being able to compare the different strains in the same environment.

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TABLE 1. Mean egg weights during different periods for the main Brown egg strains recorded in the Lelystad (RST 2000) Mean Period Period Difference Strain in g Weight 22 34 weeks 54 66 weeks A 60.94 57.83 63.37 + 5.54 B 61.27 57.70 64.13 + 6.43 C 62.05 58.93 64.58 + 5.65 D 62.61 59.43 65.23 + 5.80 E 62.64 58.57 65.93 + 7.36 F 63.29 59.83 65.90 + 6.17 G 64.31 60.50 67.50 + 7.00

3. Sexual naturity and bodyweight of pullet Variability in sexual maturity


Sexual maturity changes according to variations in day length during the rearing period. With increasing day lengths, it is brought forward; with decreasing day lengths, it is retarded. Morris (1967) noticed that the difference in sexual maturity between spring and autumn depends on the amplitude of the variation in day length. TABLE 2. Differences in sexual maturity observed between springs and autumn under different latitudes Latitude Difference in sexual maturity 10 3 days 30 12 days 40 18 days 50 26 days 60 41 days The purpose of lighting programmes is to control the age at start of lay and to avoid the influence of the variation in sexual maturity on performance (number and average weight of eggs). Under latitudes close to the equator, they are of less use.

Sexual maturity
The variation in sexual maturity is associated with considerable variations in the number of eggs produced as well as their average weight. This was studied in detail during the nineteen seventies, when lighting programmes were researched thoroughly. To illustrate these effects, we reproduce the results of trials carried out by Morris (1980) and Koutoulis (1997), who stimulated ISABROWN pullets at 8 weeks of age by increasing day length by 0, 4 and 8 hours. They obtained a change in mean egg weight of 3 g without changing the overall egg mass.

Factors that influence egg weight

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TABLE 3. The influence of age at 50% lay on the performance of layers Age at Number Egg Weight Egg mass 50 % lay of eggs (g) g/d or kg Morris (1980)1

Feed conversion ( Feed (g) / egg (g) )

148 153 155 156 160 162 167 173 107.6 109.9 136.6 1 20 to 74 weeks

272 264 268 269 266 264 263 260 342 340 318 2 to 72 weeks

59.2 60.4 60.1 60.4 60.8 61.4 61.9 62.5 Koutoulis (1997)2 61.73 61.42 64.82

42.6 42.2 42.6 43.1 42.7 42.9 43.1 43.0 21.11 20.90 20.61

2.86 2.89 2.89 2.83 2.83 2.82 2.83 2.81

These investigations have shown that mean egg weight increases by 1 g, when sexual maturity is retarded by one week. Compensating for this, the number of eggs was reduced or increased by about 4.5 eggs for each change of one week in age at start of lay. By using appropriate techniques, the age at start of lay can be changed so as to produce eggs of a weight required by the market without affecting the total egg mass-produced. Instead of giving light stimulation as a function of age, we recommend that day length should only be increased, when the birds have reached the body weight intended. We can thus prevent the birds coming into lay at too low a body weight, which would be detrimental to egg weight and to overall performance. It is the variation in pullet body weight at sexual maturity, which fixes the average egg weight. The variation in day length during the rearing period stimulates or retards the hormone production, which brings about the onset of sexual maturity.

The relevance of pullet body weight at sexual maturity


The body weight of the pullet at sexual maturity is the principle cause of variation in average egg weight. The 2 experiments using ISABROWN shown below in table 4 (Bougon, 1996) illustrate this phenomenon. TABLE 4. The influence of pullet body weight at sexual maturity on performance Pullet body weight (g) Trial 1 (18-71 s.) Trial 2 (23-47 s.) 13431 15391 15352 15852 16202 Age at 50% lay (days) 141 142 141 141 143 Rate of lay (%) 82.8 83.8 91.3 92.1 91.0 Mean egg weight (g) 59.9a 61.4b 60.5x 60.7x 61.8y a b Egg mass (g/d) 49.6 51.4 55.3 55.8 56.2 Total egg mass (g) 17.830a 18.520b Food conversion ratio (g. feed/g. 2.23a 2.18b 2.02 2.01 2.01 egg)
1

16652 142 91.0 61.7y 56.1 2.03

body weight at 119 days

body weight at 123 days

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From these two pieces of work we can conclude that the age at start of lay is conditional on the age at which light stimulation has been carried out and that it does not depend on pullet body weight. On the other hand, average egg weight is dependent upon the pullet body weight at start of lay. Lewis (1992) gives an example of the relationship pullet body weight egg weight throughout a production cycle. He has also shown (Lewis et al, 1995) that sexual maturity has also an influence on pullet body weight. This relationship is shown in Figure 1. TABLE 5. The influence of ISA brown pullet body weight at first egg on egg weight (g) over different periods Period Pullet body weight at first egg (g) (weeks) 1300 1500 g 1500 1700 g 1700 1900 g > 1900 g 18 28 49.75 53.25 56.05 57.60 28 40 57.55 59.20 61.03 62.35 40 60 61.65 62.55 64.55 65.80 From all of the above we can conclude that the body weight of the pullet at sexual maturity is the main factor determining average egg weight. Changing sexual maturity is one method, which we can use to vary the body weight of the pullet at start of lay. For brown egg strains, and particularly the ISABROWN, a strain on which very many experiments have been carried out, we think that a variation in pullet body weight of 80 g at sexual maturity will lead to a change in mean egg weight of about 1 g. FIGURE 1. GROWTH CURVES OF ISA BROWN PULLETS REACHING A 50% RATE OF LAY AT 130, 140 AND 150 DAYS OF AGE

Sexual maturity in the absence of light stimulation


At latitudes close to the equator, and in the absence of light stimulation, we have noticed that the principal factor triggering sexual maturity was body weight. For example, with the ISA brown, a rate of lay of 10% is obtained when the body weight reaches 1600 g. Light stimulation is not needed to trigger sexual maturity. In this case body weight plays the major role in the fixing of sexual maturity and the duration of light plays a dominant role in the control of growth.

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Practical aspects
The management practices, which influence the growth of pullets and, therefore, their weight at sexual maturity, are going to have a considerable effect on mean egg weight and productivity. Among these, we will mention the role of the lighting programme used during rearing and especially during the first weeks of life, the role of and importance of form of feed on it's consumption and, therefore, on growth and finally on the amino acid concentration of the diet. Any light stimulation tends to change body weight at sexual maturity and adult body weight. Disappointment is experienced, when pullets are stimulated at too low a body weight. For that reason, we recommend stimulating at a given body weight rather than at a given age.

4. Nutritional factors Influence of oil


Egg weight is influenced by the level of oil in the diet. This effect used to be attributed to the level of linoleic acid in the ration, but Whitehead (1981) has shown that the effect on egg weight can be attributed to oil and not to the level of linoleic acid. In rations, where the cereals were either wheat or a mixture of wheat and barley, he compared the addition of either corn oil, which is rich in linoleic acid, or olive oil, which is poor in linoleic acid. From this it is preferable to speak in terms of the effects of oil, rather than the effects of linoleic acid. If a requirement for linoleic acid exists, it should not be more than 1%. TABLE 6. The effect of oil or linoleic acid level on the performance of layers over the period 21-73 weeks Oil, % 0% 0.4% maize 3% olive 3% maize Linoleic acid % 0.65 0.88 0.87 2.28 Rate of lay 77.9 78.5 78.1 77.3 Egg weight, g 56.7a 57.3a 58.8b 59.2b a a b 44.9 45.9 45.8b Egg mass, g/d 44.2 a a b F.C.R 2.60 2.59 2.53 2.54b The effect of fatty ingredients on egg weight depends on their components. Halle (1996) compared additions of maize oil, soya bean oil and coconut oil to wheat based diets at levels of 2.5 or 5%. The results, which are shown below are the means of 2 experiments over the period 19-71 weeks. TABLE 7. The influence of the type and quantity of fatty ingredients on the performance of layers Type of oil Coconut Maize Soyabean Level of 2.5 5 2.5 5 2.5 5 incorporation Rate of lay, % 83.8 85.3 84.7 85.1 86.7 86.6 Egg weight, g. 64.6 64.8 65.2 65.8 65.9 66.5 Egg mass, g/d 54.3 55.3 55.2 55.7 57.2 57.4 The mean egg weight on the control diet was 63.5 g. The increase in egg weight varies according to the type of fatty ingredient used, but also according to it's level of incorporation. The work of Meluzzi et al (2001) demonstrates the role played by the level of saturated fatty acids in fatty ingredients on egg weight. The diets were made up of maize (61%) and soya (24%) and were supplemented with 2% of different oils over a period of 8 weeks.

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TABLE 8. The weight Oil Palm Seaweed Lard Grape Linseed

influence of different oils incorporated at the rate of 2% on egg Level of palmitic acid in oil (%) 28.4 18.0 17.8 11.2 10.5 Level of linoleic acid in diet (%) 1.52 1.37 1.64 2.67 1.65 Egg weight (g) 63.0 63.1 64.3 65.5 65.3

Recent work by Grobas et al (1999) carried out with 720 ISABROWN enables us to differentiate between the effects of the dietary energy level and the effect of oil. They compared 2 dietary energy levels (2680 and 2810 kcal/kg) containing either 0% or 4% of added oil (a mixture of soya and olive oils) or 4% animal fat. The energy level of the diet modified neither the performance of the layers nor the dietary energy intake. The addition of 4% of a fatty substance brought about an increase in dietary energy intake, body weight gain and egg weight. TABLE 9. The effect of dietery energy level on the performance of Hens Performances Dietary Energy Added oil 2680 kcal 2810 kcal 0% Rate of lay% 88.8a 88.9a 88.0a a a Egg weight, g. 64.9 64.5 64.1a a a Egg mass g/d 57.7 57.3 56.4a Energy intake, kcal/d 327 326 322 Weight gain, g 140 218 88

4% 89.8b 65.3b 58.6b 331 270

The comparison between 2 types of fatty ingredients did not have any effect on performance despite a linoleic acid level of 1.15% in the diet incorporating 4% fat and 1.65% for the diet containing 4% added oil.

Practical factors.
The presentation of diets is improved, when one uses oils, which give an increase in feed consumption. If the grinding is inadequate, the addition of oil may improve the texture. Egg weight varies as a function of the type of oil used. The requirement of layers for linoleic acid is relatively low and not more than 1%. The increase in egg weight does not seem to rely on the level of linoleic acid. The addition of unsaturated fats leads to an increase in the energy intake, the body weight of the bird, the egg weight and the egg mass-produced. The effect on egg weight will not be produced, when oils or fats, which are rich in saturated fatty acids or in palmitic acid are used. Soya bean oil seems to be the oil which gives the best increase in egg weight.

The influence of a deficiency of amino acids on egg weight.


For all the amino acids studied, without exception, a deficiency leads to a reduction in performance, of which 60-65% is due to a lowering of rate of lay and 35-40% to a reduction in egg weight. Over recent years we have studied the amino acid requirements of layers, identifying the most limiting and producing a collected bibliography (Joly, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003). We present below the results of this series in terms of the effects obtained on egg weight.

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TABLE 10. The percentage reduction of egg mass due to reduction in egg weight following an introduction of diets deficient in an amino acid. Number of Number of reviewed Percent of egg experiments studies mass loss Amino Acids studied due to egg weight loss (%) Meth + Cystine 16 44 39 Lysine 11 20 35 Isoleucine 11 24 27 Tryptophane 12 12 Valine 4 6 22 Threonine 3 8 8 In these studies, it stands out that a deficiency of amino acids leads to a more marked reduction in rate of lay than in egg weight and that each amino acid tends to show a very similar pattern. Of the reduction in egg mass consequent upon a deficiency of an amino acid, about 30-35% can be ascribed to a loss of egg weight. The work of Jais (1995) has shown that, when one introduces a shortage of amino acids, egg weight is affected more than rate of lay in the first 4-6 weeks following the introduction of the deficiency. This is explained by the fact, that during this period of 4-6 weeks, catabolism allows the bird to maintain a similar rate of lay. Stabilisation in performance is observed, when the bird reaches it's minimal body weight. Food consumption adjusts itself in line with productivity and the equilibrium obtained between protein and energy intake ensures that fattening is to some extent limited. Methionine escapes this general rule. In this case increased-consumption is always observed when the birds are on deficient diets. To illustrate the influence of an amino acid deficiency, we reproduce the work of Huyghebaert (1991) on Threonine. TABLE 11. The influence of Threonine intake on the performance of ISA brown (34-38 weeks) and on the amount of Threonine required to produce 1 of egg Dig threonine Intake (mg/d) 149 187 224 294 341 387 447 478 500 531 Rate of lay (%) 30.2 20.2 52.4 67.0 72.0 80.8 86.2 85.5 86.9 86.8 Egg weigh (g) 50.3 51.7 53.6 55.4 56.1 57.8 59.2 60.0 60.5 59.4 Egg mass (g/d ) 15.2 20.8 28.1 37.1 40.4 46.7 51.6 51.3 52.6 51.6 F.C.R 5.16 4.09 3.32 2.94 2.82 2.59 2.47 2.45 2.38 2.39 Body weight change (g/d) - 4.2 - 3.6 - 3.4 - 0.9 - 1.6 1.3 1.4 3.3 2.8 3.1 mg threonine per g of egg 9.80 9.00 7.87 7.92 8.44 8.29 8.66 9.31 9.51 10.29

Below 447 mg intake the rate of lay falls markedly (6%), whereas egg weight only falls by 2.4%.

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Practical aspects
It is an illusion to want to reduce egg weight by reducing one or more amino acids without reducing rate of lay. The reduction in the level of methionine or of other amino acids towards the end of lay is prejudicial to performance, to rate of lay, to feed conversion ratio and to egg weight.

Influence of feed texture


Feed consumption is very dependent on its texture. The chicken has a definite preference for particles. They are easier to gather and do not lead to pasting up of the beak. A chicken always has a tendency to leave the fine particles. We have carried out the following trial (ISA 1999): A commercial diet, with a good particle size was re-milled through a finer screen. The two diets were then fed from 19 weeks of age. The results are shown in Table 12. TABLE 12. The influence of feed grist on the performance of layers between 23 and 51 weeks Particle size Correct diet Fine diet Difference % < 0.5 mm 9% 31 % > 3.2 mm 10 % 0% 0.5 a 3.2 mm 81 % 69 % > 1.6 mm 65 % 21 % Rate of lay % Egg weight g. Egg mass g/d Feed consumption g/d F.C.R. Body weight @ 33 wks. g 93.9 63.3 59.41 118.1 1.989 1.930 90.7 62.7 56.85 114.2 2.008 1.883 - 3.4 - 0.9 - 4.3 - 3.4 + 0.9

Food consumption is reduced by about 4 g/d when it is finely milled. As a result there is a reduction of 3.4% in rate of lay (6.3 eggs), a reduction of about 1% in egg weight and a reduction in egg mass of 2.6 g/day. Using a finely ground feed is the equivalent of rationing the layers. Rate of lay will be found to be affected more than egg weight. Nowadays any feed restriction always leads to a lowering of egg production.

5. Influence of heat
Influence on performance
Rate of lay is generally only affected at temperatures above 30oC. Egg weight falls by about 0.4% per oC between 23 and 27 oC; above 27 oC the reduction is about 0.8% per oC. Growth at start of lay is reduced above 24 oC and is extremely low above 28 oC. The feed conversion ratio is minimum at a temperature around 28 oC, above 28 oC it increases due to the lowering of production. These figures are only indicative, because air movement speed and relative humidity affect thermoregulation. In the absence of any specific methods of temperature control, the heat loss by convection is proportional to the difference between environmental and bird body temperatures. The quantity of heat, which needs to be removed, increases dramatically with increases in ambient temperature. If it is not possible to lose this, the

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thermoregulatory mechanisms gradually come into play with the consequential lowering of feed consumption. The table below gives the results obtained with foods varying in energy level between 2645 and 2975 kcal/kg. The results shown are those obtained by Zollitsch (1996) under 3 temperature regimes over the period 20-36 weeks. TABLE 13. The influence of dietary energy level on performance of layers at different temperatures Dietary energy kcal/kg 2645 kcal 2755 kcal 2865 kcal 2975 kcal 2645 kcal 2755 kcal 2865 kcal 2975 kcal 2645 kcal 2755 kcal 2865 kcal 2975 kcal 14 to 19 C 297 308 310 315 52,73 52,82 53,43 53,29 44.4 45.2 45.5 45.3 Temperature 21,9 to 27,7 C Energy intake (kcal/d) 273 281 288 289 Egg weight (g) 52,24 52,41 52,82 52,75 Egg mass (g/d) 43.5 44.3 44.7 44.8 30,5 to 35 C 204 207 209 205 47,30 47,30 46,92 47,01 34.4 34.8 34.8 34.5

During the laying period energy intake is not modified by dietary energy level. Growth and production are reduced more and more as the temperature is increased. In rearing, as in production, increasing the level of energy in the feed does not avoid the loss of production due to heat. In the following trial, Peguri (1993)studied the performance between 59 and 65 weeks as a function of temperature in perfectly feathered pullets and others from which 50% or all of the feathers had been removed. TABLE 14. The influence of level of feathering and temperature on performance Performances Feed consumption (g/day) Egg mass (g/day) Rate of lay (%) Egg weight (g) Temperature C 23,9 33,9 23,9 33,9 23,9 33,9 23,9 33,9 100% 105 82 49,9 39,6 84,3 70 59,2 56,4 Degree of feathering 50% 112 91 49,0 47,3 84,3 81,4 58,1 58,0 0% 128 99 47,0 43,3 77,9 75,4 60,4 57,6

At high temperatures, the feed consumption and egg production of fully feathered hens are considerably lower than for hens with 50% plumage. This shows that in a hot climate, the factor limiting production is really the capacity to discard the heat produced. As the

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temperature rises more and more, the thermoregulatory mechanisms gradually come into operation e.g. spreading wings wide open, increasing respiratory and cardiac rates.

Practical aspects
In hot climates or during hot periods, heat reduces the birds' feed consumption. That can be attributed to 2 phenomena; on the one hand the reduction in the capacity to eliminate heat and, on the other, a reduction in the period of effective access to the feeder. A lighting programme allowing the pullets and hens to eliminate the heat of digestion in the cooler parts of the day has a beneficial impact on performance. For that we recommend using the following lighting program : "lights on" = 3 h 30 "lights out" or night = 19 h "night lighting" = from 23 h 00 - 0 h 30

6. Lighting programmes during production


The programmes called "cyclical programmes" allow an increase in egg weight. An analysis has been carried out by ISA (1988). They can only be used, when the buildings are completely light proof. The 24 hour day is broken down into cycles of 2, 4, or 6 hours. Each cycle is made up of a period of light and a period of darkness. The length of lighting in each cycle can be varied throughout the laying period. These fragmented programmes can be used: either at any time in the laying cycle, including at the start of lay, if it is considered economically worthwhile to increase egg weight. or after 40 - 50 weeks, if one wants to improve the eggshell quality at the end of lay.

When operating these programmes we recommend keeping the same total lighting period for several weeks. The physiological repercussions of these programmes are as follows; oviposition is desynchronised, with egg laying occurring throughout 24 hours and increasing the length of time taken in egg formation, which allows an increase in egg weight of 2-3% but reduces the number of eggs by the same proportion. In association with the increase in the period of egg formation one observes an improvement in the shell density and colour, from which there is a reduction in the quantity of downgrades. Other lighting programmes called "ahemeral" have a large effect on egg weight. A day length longer than 24 hours, for example 25 or 26 hours, leads to a reduction in rate of lay. Since they do not have any use, we will not describe these programmes, which are the subject of an analysis by Shamawany (1982). The effects of these programmes seem similar to those obtained with a cyclic programme, a reduction rate of lay, an increase in egg weight and of shell quality. For cycle lengths of 23 - 26 hours, the egg mass-produced does not seem to be affected.

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7. Conclusion
The egg producer and the nutritionist can bring about quite large variations in egg weight. An increase in egg weight can be obtained immediately by using a cyclical lighting programme or by adding unsaturated oils to the feed. A reduction in egg weight can be obtained by replacing unsaturated oils with saturated fats. A change in egg weight can easily be obtained by modifying age at sexual maturity or by changing body weight at sexual maturity. In hot periods, the best timetable permits the birds to eat food during the cooler hours, with positive effects on performance.

References
-Bougon, M., 1996. Influence du poids de la poulette lentre en ponte sur les performances des pondeuses. Journe Itavi. Dcembre 1996. -Halle, I., 1996. Untersuchungen zum Einfluss untershiedlicher Nahrungsfette auf leistungsparameter und Dotterfettsurespektrum bei Legehennen. Arch. Geflgelk 60:65-72. -Huyguebaert, G. and E.A. Butler, 1991. Optimum threonine requirement of laying hens. Br. Poult. Sci .32:575-582 -Jais C., F.X. Roth and M. Kirchgebner, 1995. Die Bestimmung des optimalen verhltnisses zwischen den essentiellen aminosuren im futter von legehennen. Arch. Gelugelk., 59, 292302 -Joly, P., 1995. Ractualisation des besoins en acides amins de la pondeuse. In Premires journes de la Recherche Avicole. Angers., p. 1 8 -Joly P., 1995. 10th European Symp.on Poultry Nutrition. WPSA proceedings. Antalya. p 294 299 -Joly, P., M. Bougon, B. Barrier-Guillot, 1997. Besoins en tryptophane de la pondeuse. In deuximes Journes de la Recherche Avicole. Tours., p. 89 94 -ISA, 1988. Bulletin du Service Technique N21 -ISA, 1999. Bulletin du Service Technique N44 -ISA, 2000. Guia de manejo, Guide dlevage Isabrown. Edition 2000. -Joly, P., 1999. Besoins en mthionine et cystine des pondeuses. In Troisimes Journes de la Recherche Avicole. 23 25 Mars 1999, p. 201-205 -Joly, P., 2001. Evaluation des besoins en Isoleucine et Valine de la pondeuse. In Quatrimes Journes de la Recherche Avicole. 23 25 Mars 1999, p. 153 156 -Koutoulis K.C., G.C. Perry and P.D. Lewis, 1997. Effect of lighting regimen, calcium supply and age at first egg on tibia stiffness and breaking strength, and shell quality in laying hens . Br. Poult. Sci. 39 (suppl): S9 S10 -Lewis, P.D., 1992. Personal communication. -Lewis, P.D. and G.C. Perry, 1995. Effect of age at sexual maturity on body weight gain. Br. Poult. Sci. 36 :854-856 -Meluzzi, A., F. Sirri, N. tallarico and A. Franchini, 2001. Effect of different vegetable lipid sources on the fatty acid composition of egg yolk and on hen performance. Arch. Geflgelk 65 :207-213. -Morris, T.R. 1967. Light requirements of the fowl. In Environmental control in poultry production (BEMB -Symp. Nb 3). T.C. Carter Ed., Oliver Boyd, Edinburgh, 15-39. -Morris, T.R. 1980. Recent developments in lighting patterns for poultry in light-proof housing. -Peguri, A. and C. Coon, 1993. Effect of feather coverage and temperature on layer performance. Poult. Sci. 72 :1318-1329 -Shanawany, M.M., 1982. The effect of ahemeral light and dark cycles on the performances of laying hens.Worlds Poultry Sci. J. 38:120-126 -South Pacific Poultry Science Convention. WPSA Proceedings. 13-16 oct. Pages : 116-124

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-Random sample test, 2000. Onderzoek leghennen broed 2000. Stifo 31. Toestbedrijf voor de Pluimveeteelt Nederland . Juni 2002 -Walker, A.W.,S.A. Tucker and N.J. Lynn, 1991. Effect of nutrient density and fat content on the performance of laying hens. Br. Poult. Sci., Abstract 32:1138-1139 -Whitehead, C.C., 1981. The response of egg weight to the the inclusion of different amounts of vegetable oil and linoleic acid in the diet of laying hens. Br. Poult. Sci. 22:525-532. -Zollitsch, W., Z. Cao, A. Peguri, B. Zhang, T. Cheng and C. Coon, 1996. Nutrient requirements of laying hens. In Simposio Internacional sobre exigencias nutricionais de avec e suinos. Editor: Horacio Santiago Rostagno

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GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF THE LIGHTING PROGRAMS DURING LAYING PERIOD


In the production as well as the rearing periods, the lighting program greatly influences the feed consumption. In addition, during all its life, a chicken remains sensitive to changes in the duration of illumination. The objective of the lighting programs during production period is: - to encourage growth at start of lay - to counteract the harmful effects of decreases in natural day length - to control the liveability through the light intensity management - to improve egg shell quality Other lighting programs can also be introduced during the production period to adapt the egg weight to market demand, to improve egg shell quality or to control feed intake for some breeds.

Chickens sensibility to change of illumination


First at all, the lighting program in production should be the continuation of the lighting program used during the rearing period. We have to make sure that the light duration in production house is as long as the light duration the birds experienced the last day before transfer. As chickens remain sensitive to decrease of light duration during all the production cycle, the day length (the interval between lights on and lights out) should not be decreased during lay. - A day length of longer than 16 hours is not necessary in dark buildings. - In naturally lit or semi-dark buildings, one should always avoid a decrease in the day length during lay by maintaining, during decreasing natural day length, a day length which is equal to that of the longest natural day experienced, by making lights on and lights out coincide with the times of sunrise and sunset

Lighting programs at start of lay: 15 hours at 50 % production


From 17 weeks till peak of lay, feed consumption has to increase by 40 to 50 % according to rearing systems of production to cover requirements for growth, peak of production and increase in egg weight at start of lay. - 350 g of growth between 18 and 28 weeks old - from 0 to 58 g of daily egg mass produced at peak of production The amount of feed eaten is dependent on the day length. A change in day length of one hour changes feed intake by about 1.5 to 2 g. We recommend to adapt the increase of light duration at start of lay to get at least 15 hours of light at 50 % production to encourage increase in feed intake. For all the birds, production is determined by the amount of food intake at start of lay. The introduction of 1h30 or 2h00 of light could also be associated at the same time.

1h30 to 2h00 light in the middle of the night


This technique is widely used. It encourages feed consumption and growth at start of lay. This introduction of 1h30 or 2h00 of lights doesnt interfere with the normal lighting program. This program can be introduced when we want at start of lay (usually from 5 % of lay) and

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discontinued at any time without affecting the production. The bird doesnt perceive the stop of this program as a reduction of light duration. Principle of the technique : - The lights should be switched on about 3 hours after "lights out". It can be discontinued at about 30 weeks of age if bodyweight and feed consumption are on target. - It could be maintained during all the laying period. - When it is discontinued at 30 weeks, it could be introduced again at 45 weeks old to reduce the deterioration of the shell quality (and color) at end of lay. Introduction at end of lay is not to increase feed intake but to give the possibility to the chickens to eat limestone (Calcium) during the shell formation. - In a hot climate or during a hot spell, lighting during the middle of the night reduces the ill effects of heat by encouraging feed intake during cooler conditions. - If it's possible, we advise giving a feed distribution a short time after the lights come on. The influence of a 2 hours light interval during the night Lighted period 6 - 22 h 4 - 20 h 6-20 h & 23-1 h Feed consumption (g/day) Exp. 1 Exp. 2 127.7 116.8 128.8 118.1 131.9 122.0 Density of egg shell Exp. 1 1.0722 a 1.0714 b 1.0726 a Exp. 2 1.0790 a 1.0792 a 1.0806 b

Grizzle (1992)

Cyclical lighting programs


These programs can only be used in buildings, which are totally light proof. The 24 hours of the day are split into cycles of 2, 4, 6 or 8 hours. Each cycle is made up of a period of light and a period of dark. The length of light in each cycle can be varied during the laying season. These segmented lighting programs are well known for their positive effects on: - Egg shell color and egg shell strength - Egg weight - Control of red mite population - Liveability and FCR management The physiological effects of such programs are as follows: oviposition is desynchronised and laying is spread out over 24 hours. The length of time taken to form an egg is increased. This could allow an increase in egg weight by 2-3% but reduces the number of eggs laid by about the same proportion. In practice : - They can be used any time throughout lay, including the early stages if it is economically useful to get a higher egg weight. - When starting to use one of these programs, we advise keeping the same total hours of light per day for several weeks. - According to evolution of the feed consumption, a progressive increase of each dark period is possible. This reduction of total light duration doesnt affect the production but reduce activity (improve liveability) and save feed. - These programs assist in reducing red mite by encouraging preening and delousing.

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The practical implementation : progressively according to age and consumption Choice of cycle* 2 hours 3 hours 4 hours 6 hours Age From 5% of lay 1h15 L+ 0h45 N 2h L + 1h N 2h30 L + 1h30 N 3h45 L + 2h15 N Length of light 15 hours 16 hours 15 hours 15 hours

- The reduction of light duration must be done progressively according to the water and feed consumption observed. It is possible to reduce total light duration to 9 hours in a progressive way. - If feed consumption decreases too much and lasts several days after a change of pattern, then go back to the previous lighting programme (increase light).

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GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF THE LIGHTING PROGRAMS IN REARING PERIOD


Chickens are sensitive to changes in the duration of illumination, and these will influence the age of sexual maturity. In addition, feed consumption is greatly influenced by the duration of day length. Lighting programs have, therefore, different objectives. During rearing, they allow us to encourage growth and to control the birds' sexual maturity. For this reason, we consider it to be essential to achieve the recommended bodyweight at 5 % lay, in order to obtain an egg weight which conforms with the target from start of lay, and to achieve high overall production.

Lighting program and growth:


In addition to the influence of growth, the light program plays a determinant role for 3 essential reasons: progressive growth of the digestive system gradual adaptation to a body clock ( above all , anticipation of a dark period ). lack of night time energy supply when dark periods are too long The observation of the feeding behavior with the water consumption shows a first peak of food intake in the 2 to 3 hours that precede a dark period, and a second peak shortly after lights come on. The crop is used during these peaks of consumption as a storage organ. The introduction of a dark period from start of the rearing period is important to progressively develop the crop capacity, which plays a role of food reserve. However the amount of food stocked remains insufficient for the nocturnal energy needs. Buyse (1993) found that with pullets subjected to a 10-hour dark period, the amount of food stored in the digestive tract was only 75% of the energy needs for those 10 hours. Other authors have found similar results. Thus the feeding behavior of poultry is an attempt to satisfy night time energy needs. It is a reasonable to suppose that the night energy deficit is proportional to the length of the dark period

Light duration and growth:


A rapid decrease in light length is used to slow the growth of broilers and broiler breeders when young. Conversely any increase in light duration will favour growth. The trial (24th Random Sample Test- Eickelborn) shows clearly show the relation - Light length/Food intake/Growth.

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Influence

of a decreasing light pattern on growth.


Light duration (hours/day) 20 16 12 8 8 8 8 8 678 20 16 15 14.5 14 13.5 13 12.5 731 (+ 8%)


24th. R.S.T. Eikelborn

Age 4 7 days 2nd week 3rd week 4th week 5th week 6th week 7th week 8th week Weight at 56 days ( g)

The duration of light must be taken into account when planning light programs while bearing in mind that the objective is not to break records for growth but to follow the established growth curve.

Control of sexual maturity


The purpose of light programs is to control the age at point of lay and above all to avoid the influence of the variations in natural day length. Role of bodyweight Photo stimulation is not necessary to stimulate production even when the pullets are reared under very short day lengths. A trial carried out by Lewis (1996) shows that with a light length greater or equal to 10 hours, the age at 50% lay does not vary, or only a little. On the other hand, a light length held at 8 hours appears to delay sexual maturity by one week. This delay of maturity with 8 hours at the plateau is explained by the lower growth obtained compared to 10 or + hours of light program. These observations are confirmed in latitudes close to the Equator. With very little change in day length, we have seen that sexual maturity is mainly activated by obtaining adequate body weight. According to the latitude, differences in sexual maturity between summer and winter are more and more important when latitude is important.

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Light stimulation The variation of light duration greatly influences sexual maturity. Under certain conditions, we can observe a response to a light stimulation from 6 weeks old. The more sensitive period is between 10 and 12 weeks old. According to the program used, the age at 50 % can vary by at least 6 weeks. Light stimulation will change bird weight at sexual maturity and adult weight, as a consequence the egg weight, which is directly related to the bodyweight of the bird at first egg. Bird weight at sexual maturity will be 75 g lower when light is advanced one week. Egg numbers will be greater but egg weight will be reduced by about 1 g. Total egg mass produced does not seem to be affected by reasonable variations in the age of sexual maturity (Lewis 1997). For this reason, it is suitable to determine time of light stimulation according to bodyweight instead of age of the bird. Influence of bird weight at 127 days upon the performance from 27 to 47 weeks. Bird weight Age at 50 % Rate of Egg weight F.C.R. ( days ) 1535 g 1585 g 1620 g 1665 g 141 141 143 142 lay 91.3 92.1 91.0 91.0 (g) 60.50 a 60.65 a 61.80 b 61.65 b 2.018 2.014 2.012 2.027 Isabrown

Bougon 96

Light intensity in rearing


Little information is available. However some work has shown that light intensity can be very low. Morris (1996) showed that intensity greater than 1 lux did not modify sexual maturity. Ideal light intensity will be determined in practice by the following needs: Light required to inspect the birds well. The degree of darkness of the building (light leaking in) The intensity to be used during laying period. Lighting programs have to be adapted to the rearing facilities (dark or open house systems), to conditions of production, to climate and to egg weight profile demanded by the market.

General principles of the lighting programs in rearing period

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THE ROLE AND IMPORTANCE OF LIGHT IN THE EXPRESSION OF THE GENETIC POTENTIAL OF LAYERS
LIGHT DURING REARING 1. The influence of light duration on food intake and growth.
Light programmes play a determinant role in poultry growth for 3 essential reasons. - progressive growth of the digestive system - gradual adaptation to a body clock ( above all , anticipation of a dark period ). - lack of night time energy supply when dark periods are too long.

1.1 Body clock and feeding behaviour patterns.


Observation of feeding patterns as measured by water consumption show a first peak of food intake in the 2 to 3 hours which precede a dark period, and a second peak shortly after lights come on. The trial below (Table.1) on chicks, clearly shows the change in feeding habits following the introduction of a dark period Table n 1: Water intake per hour as a % of the average consumption after adopting a dark period of 6 hours at 4 days of age. Age 2nd and 3rd hour 1srt and 2nd hour before lights out following lights on (Days) 5 72 % 137 % 6 94 % 139 % 7 112 % 138 % 8 116 % 129 % ISA (1993) At 4 days a light programme with a 6 hour dark period was begun. Water intake during the following first 2 hours of light increased by 40% when compared with the average intake during the whole of the lighted period. At 7 days the chicks change their feeding behaviour and we find the increase of water intake during the 2nd and 3rd hour before the light period. Table.1 given in the annex shows the changes in intake during the lighted period from the 10th to the 15th day of age. This feeding behaviour is found also in older birds- broilers as well as layers. (Masic, 1974).

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The crop grows progressively to be able to stock a food reserve; however the amount of food stocked remains insufficient for the nocturnal energy needs. Buyse (1993) found that with pullets subjected to a 10 hour dark period, the amount of food stocked in the digestive tract was only 75% of the energy needs for those 10 hours. Other authors have found similar results. Thus the feeding behaviour of poultry is an attempt to satisfy night time energy needs. It is a reasonable to suppose that the night energy deficit is proportional to the length of the dark period. The food content of the crop and gizzard is not large during the day but becomes very large at lights out (Figure.2). In practice, growth will be favoured by distributing feed 3 hours before lights out and the increased appetite at lights on will make them finish up the fine particles left over. The crop fills its function as a food reserve, but does it allow for continued growth when nights are longer?

1.2. Light, length, and growth.


Light length plays a major role in the growth of young poultry. A rapid decrease in light length is used to slow the growth of broilers and broiler breeders when young. Conversely any increase in light duration will favour growth. We advise then, a decreasing light pattern with relatively long days at the beginning of rearing. The 3 trials shown (24th Random Sample Test- Eickelborn and Lewis 1996) clearly show the relation - Light length/Food intake/Growth - (Table 2 below and Fig.3 in the annex). Consequently the duration of light must be taken into account when planning light programmes while bearing in mind that the objective is not to break records for growth but to follow the established growth curve. Table No.2 : The influence of a decreasing light pattern on growth. Age Light duration (hours/day) 4 - 7 days 20 20 2nd week 16 16 3rd week 12 15 4th week 8 14.5 5th week 8 14 6th week 8 13.5 7th week 8 13 8th week 8 12.5 Weight at 56 days (g ) 678 731 (+ 8%) 24th. R.S.T. Eikelborn

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2. Control of sexual maturity.


The purpose of light programmes is to control the age at point of lay and above all to avoid the influence of the variations in natural day length. But is light stimulation necessary? We have long known that the age of sexual maturity varies between birds reared in summer or winter at different latitudes. Table No. 3: Influence of season on sexual maturity. Latitude 10 30 40 50 60 Morris 1967 Difference in sexual maturity between spring and autumn. 3 days 12 days 18 days 26 days 41 days

2.1 Sexual maturity without artificial light stimulation


In latitudes close to the Equator with very little change in day length, we have seen that sexual maturity is mainly provoked by body weight. Lay of 10% is obtained when the ISA brown reaches 1.600 gr. The trial carried out by Lewis (1996) shows that with a light length greater or equal to 10 hours, the age at 50% lay does not vary, or only a little. A light length held at 8 hours appears to delay sexual maturity by one week. These results confirm those obtained 30 years earlier by Morris (1965). Table No.4: Variation of age of sexual maturity ( age at 50% lay ) as a function of light length in the absence of any artificial stimulation ( constant Photoperiod ) Duration MORRIS LEWIS 1991 LEWIS 1996 LEWIS 1997 of light 1965 (1) Age at 50 % Age at 50 % (2) Age at 50 % (3) 6 hrs 158 8 hrs 150.7 141.1 143.3 b 10 hrs 134.0 11 hrs 147.4 124.3 a 13 hrs 137.8 14 hrs 148 132.5 ab 18 hrs 134.6 22 hrs 151 1) From 1 day in the Morris trial (1965) - (2) From 3 days in that of Lewis(1996) - Breed: ISA brown. (3) From 1 day in that of Lewis (1997) - Breed: ISA brown. Photo stimulation is not needed to provoke sexual maturity even when the pullets are reared under very short day lengths. In the absence of light stimulation or in the case of late stimulation, sexual maturity is mainly provoked by body weight. However where a light programme is involved, changes in light duration between 10 and 16 weeks will determine age of sexual maturity. An experiment (Lewis 1996 & 1997) shows that the age of lay (50% lay) is reached before 140 days in the absence of light stimulation.

Importance of light

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2.2. Influence of light stimulation. The variation of light duration greatly influences sexual maturity. Most work was done more than 30 years ago to reduce seasonal differences of sexual maturity. Lewis has used these Trials in studying the ISA brown. The results are given in Table.5 and Fig.4. Table No. 5: Influence of age upon stimulation and of stimulation on age. Length of light Variation of age at 50% lay (in days) before stimulation no stimulation + 5 h at 84 days + 5 h at 119 days 8 hrs 142 - 24 * -6 13 hrs 137 -6 -4 no stimulation - 5 h at 84 days - 5 h at 119 days 13 hrs 137 + 20 * + 19 * 18 hrs 135 + 11 * -2 * significant difference, Breed ISA brown according Lewis (1996) The main conclusions are as follows: - according to the programmes used, the age at 50% lay can vary by at least 6 weeks. - the ISA brown is sensitive to light changes from 6 weeks old. - maximum sensitivity seems to be between 9 and 12 weeks. - sexual maturity depends on the age when stimulated Light stimulation will change bird weight at sexual maturity and adult weight. Bird weight at sexual maturity will be 75 g lower when light stimulation is advanced one week (Fig. 5 and 6 ). Egg numbers will be greater but egg weight will be reduced by about 1g. Total egg mass produced does not seem to be affected by reasonable variations in the age of sexual maturity (Lewis 1997). The results obtained by Lewis agree with earlier results, that is, that a variation in age at sexual maturity does not affect total egg mass produced. The weight of the bird does not affect the age of sexual maturity but will change egg weight by about 1g for each 100 g of body weight (Bougon 1996). Table No.6: Influence of bird weight at 127 days upon the performance from 27 to 47 weeks. Bird weight Age at 50 % Rate of Egg weight F.C.R. ( days ) lay (g) 1535 gr 141 91.3 60.50 a 2.018 1585 gr 141 92.1 60.65 a 2.014 1620 gr 143 91.0 61.80 b 2.012 1665 gr 142 91.0 61.65 b 2.027 Breed ISA brown Bougon 1996 The body weight at sexual maturity of birds, reared with 8 hours of light from day old to 8 weeks, depends of the light programme used: Table No.7: Influence of age at sexual maturity upon body weight at 50 % lay. Light programme Age at 50 % lay B.W. at from 8 to 72 weeks (days) 50 % lay 8 hours 138 a 1796 a 12 hours 108 b 1575 b 16 hours 107 b 1514 b 4 ( 3L + 3N ) 107 b 1541 b Breed ISA brown Kontoulis and al (1997)

Importance of light

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In practice, bearing in mind the natural precocity of the ISA brown and aiming at obtaining egg weights conforming to the standard, we advise stimulation when the birds have reached sufficient body weight. Problems have been found when too light weight birds are stimulated. Avoid any decrease in light length at transfer. The lighting programme used in lay should be the continuity of that used in rearing.

2.3. Influence of speed of increase of light stimulation.


Sexual maturity is influenced not only by the age at stimulation but also by the speed at which light is increased. This is shown in an experiment realised in 1987 on 4 different breeds 8 hours before stimulation (Table 6 and the Fig.4). Table N8 : Influence of bird age and speed of light increase on sexual maturity. Age The weekly Age at 50 %(days) (average 4breeds) at light increase increase of light duration

16 weeks 18 weeks

. 4 steps of 1 h then 25 mn until 17 hrs 4 steps of 1 h then 25 mn until 17 hrs

AL 148 152

R 152 156

18 weeks Steps of 25 mm until 17 hrs 30 weeks Steps of 25 mn until 17 hrs AL = Ad Lib feeding in rearing. R = Restricted feeding in rearing.

156 159 157 161 Charles et al(1993)

3. Light intensity in rearing.


Little information is available. However some work has shown that light intensity can be very low. Sauveur (1988) pointed out that sparrows were affected by light as low as a full moon. Morris (1996) showed that intensity greater than 1 lux did not modify sexual maturity. Intensity (lux) (1 to 21 weeks) 0.2 1 5 ( Morris - 1967). Age at 50 % ( days ) 191 182 179

High intensity is likely to have a negative effect on growth. We do not think that sensitivity during rearing is modified when we look at recent results obtained during the production period ( see later ). Even though basically the necessary intensity is very low, it will be determined in practice by the following needs: - Light required to inspect the birds well. - The degree of darkness of the building (light leaking in) - The intensity to be used during laying period. Few houses are completely dark in summer. The light programme must take into account the light duration sensed by the pullets at the age of 15 weeks and sunset and sunrise.

Importance of light

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The intensity must be determined in relation to the clarity of the rearing and later production house. For pullets reared for free range egg production in naturally lighted houses we advise a fairly high intensity of 30 to 40 lux.

4. Practical applications.
The breeds of today do not respond differently to light than those used in the past. The light programmes used in the past had two main objectives: growth control and sexual maturity control. Feed restriction during rearing was helped by the use of short day lengths (6 hours). Today, longer light duration is used to increase growth rate. The reduced age of sexual maturity over the last 30 years has led to a change in rearing techniques. - change of the growth curve to attain an objective of 1600 grs body weight at 5% of lay ( ISA brown ). - changes in light programmes at an early age and during rearing encourage growth in all climates and seasons. - change of light intensity during rearing for pullets destined for free range egg production or for production in naturally lighted houses. - light stimulation begun at a given body weight rather than a given age. The given weight being fixed by production targets and climatic conditions. Rearing techniques have changed. - the weight at 4 weeks is important for maintaining the growth curve and the later development of appetite which means a decreasing light programme during early life. - developing the capacity of the digestive tract during rearing so that food intake can be greater at beginning of lay. - feeding meals (evening and morning) will develop the digestive tract and avoid the negative effects of the accumulation of dusty feed in the feeders. This applies equally to broilers or layers. A relatively long light period is helpful in this technique; Fig. 7. taken from the work of Peterson (1989) shows clearly the inter action of - light length, growth and light stimulation.

5 . Practical applications: For hot climates (equatorial)


In equatorial areas where poultry are kept in open sided houses, the sexual maturity is determined mainly by the body weight (1600g at 10 % production in ISABROWN). The low intensity of artificial light which is generally used has a relatively small influence on sexual maturity. The sexual maturity depends on the age at which the weight of 1600 g is attained. Therefore there is a low risk of prolapse as the birds come into lay. To avoid a delay in sexual maturity which would reduce the number of eggs produced, it is very important to do everything to encourage growth during the rearing period, even at a very early age, to obtain the correct body weight by 4 weeks. In open-sided houses, artificial light is only efficient if it is used in the morning. It stimulates activity and feed consumption during the coolest time of the day. Conversely, artificial light used in the evening must have a very high intensity to have any effect. The use of a slowly decreasing light pattern during the first 10 or 12 weeks of age is conducive to good growth. Do not forget, that management, crumbed feed, time of feeding ... are all important factors affecting growth.

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LIGHT IN LAY 1. Length of light in lay. 1.1. Uninterrupted light .


The length of light during lay has a direct influence on food intake and production performance. The trial shown below shows that intake is dependant on light length. To be more precise we should say, dependant on the length of the dark period. Production is determined by the amount of food intake.

Table No.9: Food intake in relation to light length (g / day) LEWIS 1996 MORRIS 1995 Light length Feed cons. (g/d) Light length Feed cons. (g/ d) 1 to 215 days 182 to 210 days 1 to 72 weeks 20 to 72 weeks 8h 112.7 8h 114.8 10 h 111.3 11 h 119.8 13 h 116.5 15 h 123.4 18 h 122.3 In another trial, Perry when studying layer feeding behaviour, showed that regardless of the light length, birds fed more actively in the last 3 hours of the day (Fig.8).

1.2. Discontinuous or broken light length.


The introduction of a dark interval during the hours of light may cause a decrease in feed intake if the bird does not have enough time to feed. Reducing the total light in lay by introducing dark intervals has been used to reduce food intake and improve food conversion. The reduction of light length during lay by introducing dark intervals may cause a reduction of food intake and consequent performance, notably in egg weight. Performance is only affected if there is a fall in food intake. A trial carried out at CCPA clearly shows the influence of a reduction in food intake when a cyclic programme is used in a completely dark house. Table. No.10: Influence of light duration on food intake. ( L = light, D = dark ) Period Control. 14 hrs.fixed Cyclical programme used g/day 121 136 137 134 g/day 120 131 128 124 Light length 12 h = (3L+3D) x 4 10 h = (2.5L+3.5D) x 4 8 h = (2L+4D) x 4 6 h = (1.5L+3.5D) x 4 CCPA 1979

22-30 weeks 30-34 weeks 34-38 weeks 42-54 weeks Breed ISA brown

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1.3. Lighted interval in the night.


This has become a common practice, lighting during the night is used to increase food consumption in early lay or to improve shell quality. Table. No.11 : The influence of a 2 hour light interval during the night on food intake and shell quality. Lighted Feed consumption (g/day) Density of egg shell period Exp. 1 Exp. 2 Exp. 1 Exp. 2 6 - 22 h 127.7 116.8 1.0722 a 1.0790 a 4 - 20 h 128.8 118.1 1.0714 b 1.0792 a 6-20 h & 23-1 h 131.9 122.0 1.0726 a 1.0806 b Grizzle (1992) For Grizzle, the improvement in shell quality is due to the birds being able to feed during the lighted interval (23to1). Harms (1996) carried out trials in several houses- giving 45 minutes of light in the middle of the night. He concluded that this lighted interval can improve shell quality, but to do so food must be distributed at the moment of lighting.

1.4. Light duration and liveability.


Lewis ( 1992 ) when analysing the results of 36 trials found that in intermittent light programmes where the total lighted period was less than 10 hours the mortality was significantly less ( 4.2% against 6.1% -average of 6 trials). In a trial he carried out, Lewis (1996b) also found a relation of light length / mortality but the short lighted periods caused low food intake.

1.5. Practical applications.


At the beginning of lay, food consumption must increase by nearly 40% in the space of a few weeks. Feed intake must be encouraged by:- a rapid increase of light length at early lay - lighting the birds for 1 to 2 hours at night ( 3 hours after lights out ) - using a cyclic light programme ( 4 hours light/2 hours dark x 4 ) at 5% lay. These programmes all have in common a shorter night period. They can be used when the situation calls for them (birds under weight, point of lay in hot weather, precocious birds). In open sided houses and in hot climate is better to give the artificial in morning during the coolest hours.

2. Light intensity. 2.1. Light intensity.


Morris (1996) has shown that for the best performance a minimum of 0.5 lux at the feeder level is needed. A study of Tucker (1993) compared 3 levels of light - 0,5 - 2 - and 15 lux. No significant difference was found

Importance of light

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Table No.12 : The influence of light intensity on performance. Intensity at Egg numbers Egg Feed mass(g/day) feeder level 20 - 76 weeks consumption (g/day) 123 122 122

Weight

gain (g) 20 - 72 weeks 470 460 430

Mortality % 5.3 5.3 6.4 *

0.5 lux 2 lux 15 lux

311 314 310

52.2 52.3 52.2

* significant difference Morris (1994) thinks that today`s breeds do not need so much intensity as those in the past. For our part we believe that the difference might come from the intensity that was used in rearing, 50 lux in the trials of Morris and 3.2 lux in those of Tucker. The light intensity required is low. However in naturally lighted or half dark houses the intensity must be adjusted so that the birds remain synchronised with the light programme. High intensity tend to increase the nervousness of the birds and pecking (Hughes 1972 and Savory 1995). In battery cage houses we sometimes find considerable differences in light intensity at different levels. Measuring the light at the feeder level in various houses gave the following figures. Table No.13 : Light intensity ( lux ) in different farms. Bulb 60 watts 40 watts 60 watts (1) (1) (1) (2) 1srt level 12 12 9 3.5 2nd level 32 30 20 3.5 3rd level 55 60 32 3.5 4th level 13 2 (1) - measured below bulb (3) - bulb on ballast (2) - measured between two bulbs.

9 watts (3) (1) (2) 18 1.5 29 2.5 70 55 200 90

5 watts (3) (1) (2) 0.5 9 15 18 20 52

When the intensity is uneven it can result in differing mortality levels depending on bird placement. Table No.14 : Observed mortality (%) per cage level in one year of production. Year 1996 1997 Lower level 1.1 0.9 Middle level 1.6 2.3 Top level 6.1 6.2 8250 birds at each level.

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Ideally, to have the most uniform distribution of light, it is important to have many low level bulbs arranged in quincunx form. Existing arrangements can be improved by using shades or adhesive tape on the bulbs to reduce the intensity for those birds situated in front of the bulbs. When transferring birds we recommend increasing the intensity so that the birds can easily find the drinkers. However there is no point in maintaining this level for more than 3 days.

2.2.Light spectrum.
Red or warm light seems to be useful for reducing pecking. However a drop in productivity has been observed on occasion when using red light (Mather 1994). This can be explained since painting the bulbs red causes a drop in intensity (Morris 1994). Birds are sensitive to fluorescent light which they see as scintillating rapidly. (Nuboer, 1992). They use more energy in activity under fluorescent light than under incandescent. This energy use increases by 1 Kcal/hour/bird when the intensity goes from 1 to 10 lux and also from 10 to 100 lux. This is equal to a little more than 5 g of feed between 1 and 10 lux and nearly 11 gr of feed between 1 and 100 lux (Boshouwers 1993).

3. Lighting and shell quality


Genetic selection has resulted in an increase of shell weight produced despite a reduction in time available to produce it. It is important to encourage the intake of calcium by the bird by having a light programme which favours calcium intake in the hours preceding shell formation. Giving a dark period in the middle of the day can encourage food intake toward the end of the day. Any such dark period must be introduced progressively to avoid under feeding. Giving a light period during the night (see preceding Para.) will also help improve shell quality. The use of cyclic light programmes in light controlled houses causes slower egg formation and consequentially: - no change in egg mass, - an improvement in shell colour and quality, - an increase in average egg weight ( about 3% ), - a reduction in lay ( about 3% ), - a reduction in down graded eggs. In the annex we give an example of a light programme which can be used in lay.

4. Conclusions.
The behaviour of today`s breeds is little different from the behaviour of breeds in the past. Lighting programmes used still have the same objectives, control of sexual maturity and growth. In the past, light programmes used were intended to make feed restriction easier, today, given the evolution to earlier sexual maturity of breeds, the duration of light as used in rearing plays an increasingly important role in correct growth. Egg weight is largely determined by the body weight of the bird at sexual maturity and at 28 weeks of age. Light length will influence food consumption during lay. Light programmes must be used so that the bird can express its genetic potential in terms of egg weight or shell quality. The models of light programmes given by I.S.A. in the Management guides aim at: controlling sexual maturity, holding to growth targets and expressing genetic potential in any latitude or climate. However light is only one parameter of bird management; the quality and form of feed and farm management practices are others.

Importance of light

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Session ITAVI

References
Boshouwers et al (1993) British Poult. Sci. 34 : 11 - 19 Bougon (1996) Compte rendu Session Itavi 1996 Buyse et al (1993) British Poult. Sci. 34 : 699 - 709 CCPA (1979) Compte rendu d'exprimentation Charles et al (1993) British Poult. Sci. 34 : 241 - 254 Grizzle et al (1992) British Poult. Sci. 33 : 781 - 794 Harms et al (1996) Applied Poult. Sci. 5 : 1 - 5 Hughes et al (1972) British Poult. Sci. 13 : 525 - 547 Effets bnfiques lis l'utilisation d'un programme lumineux sur poulet de chair. Vedette Newsletter n3 Joly (1997) 34 Symposium, Seccion Espanola WPSA:101 - 105 Koutoulis et al (1997) British Poult. Sci. 38 : supplment S9 - S10 Lewis et al (1991) British Poult. Sci. 33 : 1122 - 1123 Lewis et al (1992) World's Poult. Sci. J. 48 : 113 - 120 Lewis et al (1992) Proc.XIX World's Poultry Congress 1992. Vol 1 :689-692 Lewis et al (1995) British Poult. Sci. 36 : 854 - 856 Lewis et al (1996) British Poult. Sci. 37 : 279 - 293 Lewis et al (1996b) British Poult. Sci. 37 : 295 - 300 Lewis et al (1997) British Poult. Sci. 38 : Petersen et al (1989) Archiv. Geflgel 1 : 34 - 37 Masic et al (1974) British Poult. Sci. 15 : 499 - 505 Mather (1987) World's Poult. Sci. J. 43 : 45 - 52 Morris (1994) World's Poult. Sci. J. 50 : 283 - 287 Morris (1995) British Poult. Sci. 36 : 763 - 769 Morris (1966) World's Poult. Sci. 23 : 246 - 252 Environment Control in Poultry Production. Carter. (Ed.) : 15 - 39 Savory (1995) World's Poultry Sci. 51 : 215 - 219 Tucker et al (1993) British Poult. Sci. 34 : 255 - 256

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Figure 1:

Figure 2:

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Figure 3:

Figure 4:

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Figure 5:

Figure 6:

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Figure 7:

Figure 8:

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INFLUENCE OF OVIPOSITION TIME AND LIGHTING PROGRAMME ON EGGSHELL QUALITY


(1) ISA, Le Foeil 22800 Quintin, France (2) INZO,BP 19, Chierry 02402 Chteau Thierry Cedex, France Eggshell Quality, Oviposition Time, Midnight Lighting Program, Laying Hens Abstract
The times of oviposition are affected little by the use of a night lighting program. Egg shell weight is not changed by the time of oviposition. Egg weight, shell percentage and it's color vary according to the time of oviposition. The egg characteristics have not been affected by the use of night lighting. Night lighting reduces the percentage of eggs downgraded, in particular reducing by 37 % the percentage of eggs with pimpled ends.

Introduction
The works on oviposition times of laying hens are relatively old. We wanted in this experiment to evaluate the influence of night lighting on oviposition times and to determine the oviposition times. The egg characteristics have been measured as a function of oviposition time.

Materials and Methods


The experiment was carried out at the INZO experimental station. At 51 weeks of age, 1152 ISABROWN pullets were allocated into 4 rooms of 288 birds. In 2 rooms, the duration of the lit period remained at 15 hours with "lights on" at 4.00h and "lights off" at 19.00h. The other 2 rooms received night lighting from 22.45h to 0.15h. All the eggs laid during one day were collected at specified times at 56 and 61 weeks. For the 1817 eggs collected, shell deformation and breaking force have been measured using an MTS compression apparatus and color was evaluated using a MINOLTA apparatus. The values L-a-b were measured. The values shown below are the values of L minus the values of a and b. Over the period 53-61 weeks, the downgraded eggs have been divided into 2 categories, eggs with pimpled shells and cracked eggs.

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RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Influence of night lighting


The length of night was 9 hours; the first egg collection was carried out at 12 minutes after "lights on". The times by which the different rates of lay were reached are given in Table 1. Table 1: Estimated times after "lights out" by which different rates of ovipositions were observed, during a days collections carried out at 56 and 61weeks, with and without night lighting. 56 weeks 952 9h18 9h43 11h15 12h50 13h48 15h05 61 weeks 879 9h24 9h48 11h27 13h10 14h18 16h14 Midnight lighting With Without 922 9h16 9h42 11h31 13h15 14h18 16h03 909 9h26 9h49 11h12 12h45 13h48 15h16

% of lay Eggs collected 10% 20% 50% 80% 90% 95% 99%

Around 19 hours after "lights off" About 40% of the eggs were laid in the 2 hours which followed "lights on", which means that for at least 40% of the eggs calcification was completed by "lights on". The cumulative percentage of the eggs collected by different intervals from "lights off" is given in the graph below.
Cumulative evolution of the percentage of eggs laid as a function of the time after "lights off"

%
100 90 80 70 60 50 40

Lighting programme :15 L + 9 D and 15 L + 3.75 D + 1.5 L + 3,75 D

without minight lighting (n=910)


30

with minight lighting (n=922)


20 10

Hours after "lights off"


0 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

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A period of 1h30 duration light in the middle of the night has little effect on the times of oviposition. Night lighting does not change the time of the first ovipositions, on the other hand, it slightly reduces the rate of ovipositions. Monitoring of the oviposition times on other flocks showed that 10% lay was obtained by 8h17 after "lights off" (Joly 2001). These results were obtained with a light duration of 16 hours and on flocks generally at start of lay. According to Lewis (1995), oviposition times are delayed by about 30 minutes when the duration of lighting is reduced by one hour. The ovipostion times in this trial would only be delayed by about 30 minutes according to the earlier observations. This delay could be attributed to the age. The physical characteristics of the egg are not changed by using a period of night lighting as shown in Table 2. Table 2 : The influence of a period of night lighting of 1h30 duration on egg characteristics. Midnight Eggs Egg weight Shell weight Color % of Deformation lighting collected (g) (g) shell (N/mm) (L-a-b) With Without Average 946 871 1817 63.57 63.65 63.61 6.44 6.47 6.45 27.1 27.2 27.1 10.15 10.18 10.16 196 197 196

Shell strength (N) 35.5 35.7 35.6

These results are, however, in contradiction to the results obtained by Grizzle et al (1992) who observed an improvement in specific gravity of the egg when a period of night lighting of 2 hours was used. Altan et al (2000) also obtained an increase in shell weight per unit area. During the 8 weeks (53 to 61 weeks), from a total production of 52336 eggs, those with pimpled shells or cracks were counted. The results are presented in Table 3. Table 3: The influence of night lighting on the percentage of eggs with pimpled ends and seconds. Shell defects Midnight light 53-54 weeks 55-56 weeks 57-58 weeks 59-60 weeks 53-60 weeks Pimpled ends with 1.76 A 1.79 A 2.51 1.65 A 1.94 A without 2.74 B 3.03 B 2.91 3.85 B 3.10 B Total seconds with 4.04 4.79 A 5.93 4.96 A 4.96 A Without 4.56 5.67 B 6.07 7.13 B 5.80 B

Night lighting reduced the percentage of downgraded eggs in a highly significant manner. This reduction is due to a reduction of 37% in the number of pimpled (sandy) ends. The percentage of cracks and hair cracks was not affected by the night lighting.

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The influence of oviposition time on the egg characteristics.


The eggs were collected each hour with the exception of the first collection which was carried out 12 minutes after "lights on". Egg weight varied by more than 5g between the eggs laid first and last in the day. Shell weight does not appear to be affected by oviposition time. It follows that the eggs laid later have a higher percentage of shell, a better colour and a higher rupture force. The results are given in Table 4. Table 4: The influence of oviposition time on egg characteristics (average of 2 days collections carried out at 56 and 61 weeks) Period of Collection Before 4.12h From 4.12 to 5h From 5 to 6h From 6 to 7h From 7 to 8h From 8 to 9h After 9h Average Eggs collected 138 345 325 349 305 172 185 1817 E.W (g) 65.96 65.25 64.52 63.47 62.83 61.71 60.51 63.60 S.W (g) 6.4 6.51 6.49 6.43 6.41 6.37 6.5 6.45 Shell % 9.72 10.00 10.07 10.14 10.22 10.34 10.75 10.16 Coloration (L-a-b) 30.4 27.6 27.5 27.1 26.7 25.7 25.3 27.1 Strength (N) 34.6 33.3 34.8 35.7 35.6 37 40.1 35.6

The fact that the shell weight is relatively constant could mean that the quantity of calcium deposited by a hen is a genetic characteristic with little connection to egg weight. The variation in egg weight could be ascribable to the position of the egg within the clutch. The relationship between egg weight and it's place within the clutch has been recognised for a long time.

References
Altan,., zkan,S., Akbas,Y.etK. zkan. 2000. Effects of short time fasting and midnight lighting on egg production traits of laying hens during summer season. A rchiv. Geflglk.64 : 86-89 Grizzle,J., Iheanacho, M ;, Saxton, A. et J. Broaden. 1992 ; Nutritional and environmental factors involved in egg shell quality of laying hens.Br. Poult. Sci. 33 : 781-794 Joly,P. et Alleno,C. 2001. Heures d'oviposition avec ou sans clairement nocturne et influence sur la qualit de l'uf. 4me journe de la Recherche Avicole. Lewis, P.D., Perry, G.C et T.R. Morris. 1995. Effect of photoperiod on the mean oviposition time of two breeds of laying hen. British Poultry Science, 36: 33-37.

Influence of oviposition

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LIGHT INTENSITY MANAGEMENT AND RELATION WITH LIVEABILITY


Light intensity during the rearing period
Light intensity is important during the first days of the rearing period in order to encourage the activity of the chicks to discover their environment and to find very quickly the water and the feed. Therefore, this light intensity can be reduced progressively. The ideal light intensity will be determined in practice by the following needs: - Light required to inspect the birds - The degree of darkness of the building (light leaking in) - The intensity to be used during the laying period In dark house, (Houses where the light penetration from outside doesnt exceed 0.5 lux.) - The light intensity required is very low. The ideal light intensity is the minimum needed to get a good inspection of the flock. An intensity of 5 to 10 lux is sufficient. In semi dark house or naturally lit houses, -Houses where the light penetration from outside exceeds 0.5 lux), the light intensity should be adapted to the degree of darkness of the house to avoid any interference with the light stimulation. -Artificial light intensity should be, if possible, 12 times the light intensity coming from outside. If the difference is not big enough, birds will consider the day length as the natural day length and not the artificial day length if the artificial duration of light is shorter than the natural day length. Influence of intensity experienced during the rearing period, -Naturally lit houses, free range and organic production systems, barn system of production asking for part of natural light -When the production period is in naturally lit houses, an intensity of 40 lux is needed to avoid too much of an increase in intensity on transfer to the laying house, which can lead to nervousness and pecking.

Light intensity in production


The light intensity required is low. No significant differences have been found in the different trials with todays breeds. But as stated for rearing period, we encourage increase in light intensity for a few days from transfer time in order to help the bird to discover its new environment and to find easily water and feed systems. Thereafter, the light intensity could be reduced step by step to a minimum of 0.5 lux at the feeder level in the dimmest areas of the laying house if during the rearing stage light intensity doesnt exceed 10 lux. There is a strong relation between bird activity, stocking and feather loss during production.

Light intensity and liveability


Recent investigations have demonstrated a strong relationship between light intensity, physical activity and feather loss. High light intensity results in increased mortality as a result of vent pecking, which is increased with feather loss.

Light intensity management and relation with liveability

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High intensity tends to increase the nervousness of the birds and pecking (Hughes 1972 and Savory 1995). The activity of the bird is also influenced by the source of light. The increase in the number of tiers in recent cage installations, together with the change from incandescent bulbs to fluorescent tubes or to fluorescent bulbs, has resulted in an important increase in light intensity to birds in close proximity to the light source.

High lights intensity results also in a higher feed conversion ratio. When light intensity is reduced by 50%, the feed saving will be about 1.6g. Mortality and activity -In battery cages, we sometimes find considerable differences in light intensity at different levels. The birds close to the light source demonstrate a more important activity leading to more risks of pecking and mortality. -Control of the mortality per tier could lead to different level of mortality as the following Years Bottom tier Middle tier Top tier 199 6 1.1 1.6 6.1 199 7 0.9 2.3 6.2

8 250 birds Per tier

Mortality and light source -In battery, the activity has been measured in one experiment led by Boshouwers showing that activity is much more important by using fluorescent light and is strongly correlated to the light intensity. Birds are sensitive to fluorescent light, which they see as scintillating rapidly. Movements Light intensity per hour 1 lux 10 lux higher F 1363 2317 activity I 1292 1929 average F 197 343 activity I 189 283 F = Fluorescent Lighting I= Incandescent Lighting

Boshouwers

100 lux 3271 2566 499 377

Practical advises - As shown herewith, the light intensity required is low. Effect of light intensity of performance. Intensity at Egg Egg Feed the level of number mass cons. feed trough 0.5 lux 2 lux 15 lux 20/76 wks. 311 314 310 (g/d) 52.2 52.3 52.2 (g/d) 123 122 122

Tuckler 1993

BW gain (g) 20/72 wks. 470 460 430

Mortal ity % 5.3 5.6 6.4

Light intensity management and relation with liveability

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- It is most important to have the most uniform distribution of light as possible. The distribution of many bulbs arranged in quincunx form in the new large laying units with several tiers. - Existing arrangements can be improved by using shades or adhesive tape on the bulbs to reduce the intensity for those birds situated in front of the bulbs. Red or warm light seems to be useful for reducing activity, feather loss and pecking. Before any modifications are made, it is extremely important to measure the light intensity at various points. The reduction of light intensity, we have to be certain that the least wellilluminated area has a light intensity of 0.5 to 1 lux. This control of light intensity will help to improve the feed conversion ratio. This energy use increases by 1 Kcal/hour/bird when the intensity goes from 1 to 10 lux and also from 10 to 100 lux. This is equal to a little more than 5 g of feed between 1 and 10 lux and nearly 11 g of feed between 1 and 100 lux (Boshouwers 1993).

Light intensity management and relation with liveability

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LIGHTING PROGRAM IN DARK HOUSES


We consider a dark house to be a building in which the light penetrating from outside of all sorts produces an intensity of less than 0.5 lux, at above 20 latitude. In these buildings one should use the program for dark houses. With this level of light intensity coming from outside, there is little interference with the artificial lighting program. The birds react very well to any variation of light duration during the rearing period. Even if it is always important to take into account the performances previously obtained, the sexual maturity is more predictable.

Light duration during the first weeks


In order to control and maximize the growth of the pullets during the first weeks, it is recommended to use a slow step down lighting program. This slow step down lighting program could be adapted to growth performances or sexual maturity expected.

Light duration and growth performances


The normal or classic step down lighting program is a light program coming from 23 hours the first 3 days after arrival to a plateau of light of 10 hours from 43 days. During this period, the light duration is decreased step by step of about 2 hours per week during 6 weeks. The speed of decrease of light duration could be done slower if growth performances are not as expected. The 10 hours plateau of light could be started from 8 or 10 weeks old without any major delay of maturity. The delay of sexual maturity being compensated by the better growth observed with longer light duration.

Duration of light at the plateau and growth performances


As described in a previous article, it is always preferable to encourage growth than encourage sexual maturity. In order to compensate the lack of growth which could be observed during the rearing period in some specific conditions or during the hotter season of the year, it could be better to maintain 12 hours light at the plateau instead of 10 hours. As showed by Lewis (1996), the light length greater or equal to 10 hours doesnt modify or only a little the age at 50 % production. If the market demand is high for high average egg weight, a very long step down lighting program will encourage the growth and will delay maturity. The addition of these two factors will lead to an increase in the average egg weight through the increase of bodyweight and delay of maturity. From 6 to 15 weeks, in all latitudes and irrespective of the type of poultry house, it is very important to never increase the day length.

Light stimulation according to:


As the bodyweight plays a major role in the determination of the egg weight profile during all the laying period, the light stimulation has to be done according to the bodyweight observed. The bodyweight references are: 1 250 to 1 300 g for the Brown egg layers 1 100 to 1 150 g for the White egg layers In order to get an efficient light stimulation, the light increase of light at photo stimulation has to be done in the morning.

Lighting program in dark houses

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For rearing in dark houses system and production in a Naturally Lit house, it is necessary to maintain a high light intensity throughout all the rearing period in order to avoid a sudden increase of light intensity. The following lighting programs suggested below are only guides. They have to be adapted to real situation of the rearing farm and according to performances previously obtained. GUIDE LINE FOR LIGHTING PROGRAMME FOR REARING IN A DARK POULTRY HOUSE

We consider essential to achieve the recommended bodyweight at light stimulation and at 5 % lay, in order to obtain an egg weight which conforms to the target from start of lay, and to achieve high overall production.

Lighting program in dark houses

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LIGHTING PROGRAMS FOR SEMI DARK HOUSES


Before defining the lighting program to be used during the rearing and production period, it is essential to consider the following points: Type of building to be used in rearing and laying: dark houses, semi-dark (brown-out) houses or open houses Location: duration of natural day length depends on the latitude, which determines sunrise and sunset times throughout the year Hatch date: flocks hatched on season (increasing day length) tend to be earlier into production than flocks hatched in the off season (decreasing day length). Sexual maturity usually obtained at the same season on the previous flocks.

Definition of building types


We consider a dark poultry house to be a building in which the light penetrating from outside, through all kinds of openings, produces an intensity of less than 0.5 lux. That means that houses not completely light-proof, should be considered as semi-dark if light leakage is producing an intensity of above 0.5 lux. Even low light intensity tends to affect bird performance. It has been shown that light as dim as 0.05 lux provided 3 hours before and 3 hours after an 8-hour light period can advance maturity by about a week compared with pullets held on 8 hours (Lewis, 1999). It is therefore necessary, for a semi-dark house, to adapt the lighting program to the natural day length.

Rearing in semi-dark houses


Complete control of sexual maturity is difficult to achieve in this type of buildings since the seasonal fluctuations of day length still interfere with sexual development as mentioned above. Sexual maturity usually observed in the flocks coming from this type of rearing house at the same season has to be taken into account. The lighting schedules used should take into account the natural day length at the moment of transfer in order to get an effective photo stimulation. Total light duration must never be shorter than the longest natural day in the period between 8 weeks of age and light stimulation to avoid any increase of the light duration before 14 weeks old.

Rearing during a period of decreasing day length


To reduce the delay in sexual maturity induced by the decreasing day length, we recommend: -starting light stimulation when the body weight is on target by increasing the day length period by: - 2 hours in the morning for brown egg layers - 1 hour in the morning for white egg layers -then adding 1 hour per week in order to get 15 hours of light at 50 % production

Lighting programs for semi-dark houses

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Rearing during a period of increasing day length


To avoid a too early sexual maturity, which could lead to poorer overall performances (in egg number, egg size, shell quality and live ability), we recommend: reaching a plateau of constant light equal to the natural day length which the pullets will be exposed at the planned age of light stimulation starting light stimulation when the body weight is on target by increasing the day length period by 1 hour in the morning (brown and white egg layers) then adding 1 hour per week Regarding light stimulation it is very important to keep in mind the following points: timing of light stimulation should always be based on body weight, not on age effective stimulation is always difficult when the natural day length is near its longest to get an efficient light stimulation we advise adding light in the morning instead of in the evening. Adapting rearing programs to production facilities Production in Naturally Lit Houses Transferring the birds from a semi-dark rearing house to a windowed house can bring about an advanced sexual maturity. Under these conditions, there is an increased risk of having light birds at the point light intensity is increased. To have an effective lighting program and to reduce this risk, in these situations we recommend working with a light intensity of 40 lux as a minimum in rearing. Age and/or weight 10 1 - 3 days 4 - 7 days 8 - 14 days 15 - 21 days 22 - 28 days 29 - 35 days 36 - 42 days 43 - 49 days Decreasing daylengths : after 49 days at bodyweight reference (1) at BW R + 1 week at BW R + 2 weeks Increasing daylengths : after 49 days at bodyweight reference (1) at BW R + 1 week at BW R + 2 weeks After 23 22 20 18 16 14 12 11 10 12 13 13.30 Duration of light at 15 weeks (hours) 11 12 13 23 22 20 18 16 14 13 12 NL 13 14 14.30 23 22 20 18 16 14 13 12.30 NL 14 14.30 15 23 22 20 18 16 14 13.30 13 NL 15 15.30 16

=14 23 22 20 18 16 15 14 14 NL 16 16.30 16.30

10 11 12 13 14 11 12 13 14 15 12 13 14 14.30 15.30 13 14 14.30 15 16 + hour per week in order to have between 15 h and 16 h 30 at 50 % production

Lighting programs for semi-dark houses

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(1):Body weight reference is: - For Brown egg layers is between 1 250 and 1 300 g. - For White egg layers is between 1 100 and 1 150 g. Production in a Dark Poultry House The advice given above is just as applicable to rearing for this purpose. It is worth noting that moving from a naturally lit rearing house to a dark laying house slows down the sexual development of the chicken and causes a delay in the onset of lay. It is necessary to avoid this as far as possible and to have a light duration on entering the laying house which is longer than the day length at the time of transfer and to adjust the light intensity after transfer. We consider it essential to achieve the recommended bodyweight at light stimulation and at 5 % lay, in order to obtain an egg weight which conforms with the target from start of lay, and to achieve high overall production.

Lighting programs for semi-dark houses

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LIGHTING PROGRAMS IN HOT CLIMATE HOUSES


Between Latitudes 20 north and 20 south In tropical and subtropical countries, the layers are often subjected to severe heat stress. This heat stress can occur during long periods of high tropical or subtropical climatic conditions. The lower feed intake noticed during these periods is the result of the birds reduced ability to lose heat. The lower growth rates during rearing and the reduced production during lay are only consequences of the reduction in feed consumption when the birds are incapable of regulating their internal body temperature.

High temperature and growth


The growth is affected when the birds approach full plumage. The growth is mainly affected after 6 weeks old. GROWTH IN REARING ACCORDING TO TEMPERATURE

Leeson S., and J.D. Summers - 1997 The deterioration of the growth rate usually observed lead to a delay of the sexual maturity. Indeed, without any light stimulation, the pullets start production when they reach their ideal bodyweight. The later this bodyweight is achieved, the later will be the start of production. Therefore, it is essential in these conditions of rearing and production to encourage growth during all the rearing period starting with: Good brooding conditions in order to get the best bodyweight as possible at 5 weeks of age and a good uniformity As the growth rate is related to light duration, we advise to use a slow step down lighting program which will help to boost feed consumption and growth.

Lighting programs in hot climate houses

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The reduction of light duration done in the evening will allow the birds to eat early in the morning during the cooler part of the day and help the bird to lose easily the specific heat of digestion before hotter part of the day. After 6 weeks, giving the feed early in the afternoon will encourage feed consumption of large particles size (low energy needed) before the light off. Fine particles will be easily eaten in the morning. This meal feeding will encourage the development of the digestive tract and help the increase of consumption at start of lay.

It is primordial to encourage growth instead of sexual maturity. A too low bodyweight at start of lay will lead to post peak dips, risks of high mortality in production with some prolapse, and poor quality and persistency later on in production. A too early light stimulation will lead to post peak dips. No light stimulation is necessary before 2 % of production. Increase of light stimulation from 2 % of lay could be done in the morning to boost feed consumption during the cooler part of the day.

Please find herewith a lighting program for rearing in hot climate (Between Latitudes 20 north and 20 south). It is only a guide that could be adapted to local conditions.

Remark: in very difficult conditions, a plateau of 13 hours light, with lights on at 5 am will give a better growth We consider essential to achieve the recommended bodyweight at light stimulation and at 5 % lay, in order to obtain an egg weight which conforms with the target from start of lay, and to achieve high overall production.

Lighting programs in hot climate houses

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