Role of light in breeding

Partner(s): Grimaud Frères
Industry(ies): Duck | Other poultry

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Loïc, Mule Duck production manager explains how the light influence the reproduction, performance and welfare in poultry production.


Loïc Fruchet - Mule duck production manager


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Light is the main environmental factor

Light is the main environmental factor influencing the reproduction performance and welfare of poultry.

Controlling the lighting duration, or light programme, is the most effective way to manage breeding bird production.

Humans and birds do not perceive light in the same way. For them to express their best potential, we must adapt our tools to the needs of our poultry and reproduce the original natural biotope of the birds.

The technological aspects of the equipment used tend to reproduce the luminosity and natural life cycles of the bird, as closely as possible to its needs.

Good Start

In the rearing phase, the role of light is to promote a good start to allow the animal to find its way in its environment, to find its water and its food.

It is also used to manage its activity, comfort, security, and support the animal’s behaviour.

Stimulates growth of your birds

Light also encourages and stimulates the growth of your birds.

Light helps you prevent the occurrence of inappropriate behaviour such as nervousness.

It also has the role of cycling, stimulating preparation for reproduction to allow you to produce the eggs and stimulate the sexual activity of your birds as well as reproduce the natural nycthemeron.

Start laying period

Light enables you to control the start of the laying period, avoid too early a start to the laying period and its consequences, such as small eggs, shell fragility, laying accidents.

During the breeding season, light is used to help the duck find its way around, to find water, food and its nest, but also to ensure maximum egg production and to control the egg-laying time of day.

Light programme

The lighting duration also called light programme or nycthemeron, must be adapted to each country, its seasons and duration of sunshine. It is used to reproduce natural seasonal effects.

The light programme is used to cycle all the birds together to maximize their production.
In the starter period, we have the maximum light phase, then a decreasing phase.

The light intensity and duration should allow the young duckling to adapt to its environment during the starter period.
The maximum period and amount of light must satisfy its priority needs, such as feeding, heating, drinking and resting.

Then comes a phase of gradually decreasing this period and this light intensity to imitate the shortening days of autumn.

Followed by a stagnation phase, imitating the short days of winter, and finally light stimulation, through intensity or period, to stimulate the spring recovery.

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