Effects of light intensity on behaviour and welfare

Summary

The performance and welfare of an individual is determined by both genetic and environmental components. Major genetic gains have been made in meat chicken strains. Nonetheless, this potential can only be expressed under adequate environmental conditions. The management of environmental conditions in which the birds are kept is also recognized to have major effects on their welfare. However, the effects of factors such as light on the behaviour and welfare of the birds are still poorly understood. Light intensity may influence the birds’ behaviour with associated effects on their welfare and productivity, but adequate lighting levels are currently debated. This project aims to investigate the effects of light intensity on the birds’ behaviour, welfare and productivity. Birds will be exposed to 2 light intensity levels (industry standards5 lux vs. 20 lux) starting at 7 days of age. Measures will be taken to assess the birds’ behaviour (activity), feed and water consumption, welfare (corticosterone, leg health, eye weight), litter moisture, and productivity (mortality, growth, feed conversion efficiency) throughout the growing cycle.

Program

Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

The University of Melbourne

Objective Summary

This project aims to investigate the effects of light intensity on the birds’ behaviour, welfare and productivity. Hence, a direct outcome will be to identify the implications of light intensity on the birds' behaviour, welfare and productivity. This knowledge will be used to identify management strategies that result in optimum productivity while safeguarding bird welfare.

Project Code

PRJ-009333

Project Stage

Closed

Project Start Date

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Project Completion Date

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries

National Priority

Adoption of R&D

National Priority

CME-Improving Food Safety of Australian Chicken Meat

Contact