ObjectiveTo validate a new LED light bulb designed for the egg-laying industry.
BackgroundWith the upcoming ban on inefficient light sources, there is progression within the industry to switch to energy efficient lighting systems. Despite multiple alternatives of more energy efficient lighting systems being available to egg producers, a well defined system developed for their specific requirements is lacking. The majority of existing LED bulbs sold to industry have been designed to promote growth and are reliant on visual acuity and sensitivity. Light can be perceived not only by retinal, but also by extra-retinal (pineal and hypothalamic) photoreceptors, which convert photoperiod into neuroendocrine signals. Direct photostimulation of the hypothalamus has been known to activate the reproductive axis, while stimulation of the retina of the eye has been shown to play an inhibitory role in chickens and quail. Recent research indicates that light from the red spectrum is critical to adequately stimulate the reproductive axis and to maintain high levels of egg production in hens maintained in cages. Whereas, monochromatic green light was totally inefficient and resulted in delayed sexual maturation as well as an overall lower egg production. Similarly, stimulation of extra-retinal photoreceptor (with red light wavelengths) versus retinal photoreceptor (with green light wavelengths), in broiler breeders is critical for successful reproduction. This led to the design of a LED light bulb specifically for the egg-laying industry that delivers 60% red light. This bulb was designed to withstand harsh barn environments and can be dimmed without any loss of spectral output. However, before this product can be commercially available to producers, it is imperative to test its theoretical efficiency and longevity in an environment similar to industrial settings. Thus the goals of this reasearch are to confirm that this light bulb is suitable to boost productivity while reducing energy consumption without negatively impacting the physiology and health of the animals and confirm that it is suitable for use in commercial egg farms.
Funding$167,923 (AAFC/CPRC $104,223*, Poultry Industry Council $49,750, Thies Electrical Distributing $13,950 (in-kind))
Status report coming soon.
*This research was part of the Poultry Science Cluster 2 which was supported by AAFC as part of Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.