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Lighting Programs

The lighting program that “H&N Layer Breeder” parent stock are grown under is an important part of the overall management program.

There are several different lighting programs that will work with “H&N Layer Breeder” parent stock. The program that has been found to give excellent results with the most consistency is the constant day length program. A description of the recommended lighting program by area is given below.

Brooding at Latitude 30° and Up

(Brooding Latitude greater than 30°N or 30°S; Temperate Climates)

Tailoring the lighting scheme to a specific breeder flock depends on the type of housing and the hatching date.

First Two Weeks

The lighting program for all flocks in all types of housing is the same for the first two weeks. During the first two days parent stock should be given 24 hours of light each day or an intermittent lighting program can be applied. The intensity should be 10 lux. On day 3, reduce the duration of the light to 16 hours per day and decrease the intensity to 5 – 7.5 lux.

Brooding and Growing in Closed Housing (Light Tight)

At the beginning of the third week, reduce the daily hours of light to 10 – 12 hours. Retain this duration of light until the breeder flock is moved to the laying house. The intensity of light should be 5 – 7.5 lux.

Brooding and Growing in Open Type Housing

In open houses, the lighting program from 15 days of age until transfer to the laying house, depends on the hatching date. Flocks hatched between February 15 and May 15 need to be given artificial light equal to the natural daylight on June 21. On June 21, the artificial day length needs to be changed to the length of the natural day at the time the flock reaches 18 (Brown Nick) / 19 (White Egg Parent Stock) weeks of age.

At 15 days of age, the artificial day length for flocks hatched between May 16 and February 14 needs to be set equal to the natural day length at 18 (Brown Nick) / 19 (White Egg Parent Stock) weeks of age. When determining the natural day length from sunrise and sunset tables, be sure to add one hour to include twilight at dawn and dusk. For open houses in the southern hemisphere, the above mentioned calendar dates need to be shifted accordingly (adding 6 months to any given dates).

Brooding at Latitudes 0° to 30°

(Brooding between 30°N and 30°S; SubTropical and Tropical Climates)

Latitudes within 30° of the equator have nearly equal periods of daylight and darkness throughout the year and may have small seasonal variations in high ambient temperatures. Therefore, designing a light program under such circumstances is usually problematic. Poultry men in such areas need to take the amount of natural daylight and the amount of light needed for maximum production into account. They also need to consider adding light during the coolest part of the night to stimulate feed consumption. The H&N lighting program recommends for flocks placed in latitudes between 0° and 30° North or South, a combination of both constant and step-down programs, regardless of the type of housing.

First Two Week

During the first two days parent stock should be given 24 hours of light each day or an intermittent lighting program should be applied. The intensity should be 10 lux. On day 3, reduce the duration of the light to 16 hours per day and reduce the intensity to 5 – 7.5 lux.

Lighting from 15 Days of Age until Transfer to the Laying House

At 15 days of age, the total day length needs to be adjusted to 14 hours of light. Most of the artificial light should be given during the early morning hours. Between 10 and 12 weeks of age, the stepdown phase of the lighting program needs to be initiated if the natural day length at 18 weeks of age is less than 14 hours. The change in artificial day length is dependent on the natural day length at 18 (Brown Nick)/19 (White Egg Parent Stock) weeks of age. The objective is to reduce the total lighting hours at 10 weeks of age (14 hours) to the natural day length at 18 (Brown Nick)/19 (White Egg Parent Stock) weeks of age in a manner that sexual maturity will be delayed. Remember to add one hour to include twilight at dawn and dusk when determining the length of natural daylight from sunrise and sunset tables. The recommended changes are outlined in the table below and charted in the following diagrams.

 

 

 

Use the same break time throughout the growing period. Such a program provides additional light during the coolest part of the day in order to stimulate feed consumption, while at the same time, providing the greater control on sexual maturity that comes from decreasing day length.

Light Control During Laying Period

Pullets grown under good light control require a sharp increase in light to stimulate rapid reproductive development. When the flock is 18 (Brown Nick) / 19 (White Egg Parent Stock) weeks old, the length of day needs to be increased by one hour. Additional stimulations of 60 minutes per week need to be given to bring the total hours of light up to 16 hours. In open houses, when natural day length is more than 12 hours at 18 (Brown Nick) / 19 (White Egg Parent Stock) weeks of age, give a stimulation of 30 minutes per week until 16 hours of light is reached. Due to the normal high ambient temperatures in some regions, the lights for the laying period should be set to be switched on at 3:30 a.m. and to go off at 7:30 p.m. This schedule allows for feed consumption in the coolest times of the day even during the hottest season of the year.

Light Intensity

Light intensity is an important aspect of a light program. With the proper types of controls, light intensity can be adjusted. Low intensity lights reduce power consumption. Little or no harm will be done if light intensity is increased for short periods of time when the caretaker needs bright light in the houses. Birds also react very well to the stimulation of the increase in light intensity at 18 (Brown Nick) / 19 (White Egg Parent Stock) weeks of age. A minimum of 10 lux should be maintained in the laying house. When the flock is moved to the laying house, the light intensity should be at least equal to the light intensity in the brooder house.

Growing Cycle Records

Good growing flock records will allow you to instantly evaluate the condition and progress of each flock. Therefore, good record keeping is a very valuable management tool. Figures for mortality, feed consumption and water intake should be recorded daily and summarized weekly. Body weights and body weight uniformity percentages should also be included in the records of each flock. All results should be graphed. Use of graphs will improve analyses of flock growth and mortality trends. Notes indicating vaccinations, beak treatment, medication, lighting changes and other significant events should be included in your growing records. Always keep in mind that accurate cage and/or pen counts of the number of birds present in the flock are very important.

Light Program Graphs

Figure 1: “H&N Layer Breeder” Parent Stock Lighting Program for Light Tight Housing
Figure 2: “H&N Layer Breeder” Parent Stock Lighting Program for Open Housing 10 Hours of Natural Light at 18 Weeks (Brown Nick) / 19 Weeks (White Egg Parent Stock)

Figure 3: “H&N Layer Breeder” Parent Stock Lighting Program for Open Housing between 30°N & 30°S, 11 Hours of Natural Light at 18 Weeks (Brown Nick) / 19 Weeks (White Egg Parent Stock)

Figure 4: “H&N Layer Breeder” Parent Stock Lighting Program for Open Housing between 30°N & 30°S, 12 Hours of Natural Light at 18 Weeks (Brown Nick) / 19 Weeks (White Egg Parent Stock)

Figure 5: “H&N Layer Breeder” Parent Stock Lighting Program for Open Housing between 30°N & 30°S, 13 Hours of Natural Light at 18 Weeks (Brown Nick) / 19 Weeks (White Egg Parent Stock)

Figure 6: “H&N Layer Breeder” Parent Stock Lighting Program for Open Housing between 30°N & 30°S, 14 Hours of Natural Light at 18 Weeks (Brown Nick) / 19 Weeks (White Egg Parent Stock)

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Figure 1: “H&N Layer Breeder” Parent Stock Lighting Program for Light Tight Housing

Figure 2: “H&N Layer Breeder” Parent Stock Lighting Program for Open Housing 10 Hours of Natural Light at 18 Weeks (Brown Nick) / 19 Weeks (White Egg Parent Stock)

Figure 3: “H&N Layer Breeder” Parent Stock Lighting Program for Open Housing between 30°N & 30°S, 11 Hours of Natural Light at 18 Weeks (Brown Nick) / 19 Weeks (White Egg Parent Stock)

Figure 4: “H&N Layer Breeder” Parent Stock Lighting Program for Open Housing between 30°N & 30°S, 12 Hours of Natural Light at 18 Weeks (Brown Nick) / 19 Weeks (White Egg Parent Stock)

Figure 5: “H&N Layer Breeder” Parent Stock Lighting Program for Open Housing between 30°N & 30°S, 13 Hours of Natural Light at 18 Weeks (Brown Nick) / 19 Weeks (White Egg Parent Stock)

Figure 6: “H&N Layer Breeder” Parent Stock Lighting Program for Open Housing between 30°N & 30°S, 14 Hours of Natural Light at 18 Weeks (Brown Nick) / 19 Weeks (White Egg Parent Stock)