Visual capacities of poultry

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

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Loïc Fruchet explains what are the visual capacites of poultry. You can learn about the differences between humans and ducks visions.


Loïc Fruchet - Mule duck production manager


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This technical advice focuses on the role of light in breeding.

In order to understand why light is so important in poultry production, it is important to understand their biological functioning. For human beings, light reaches the brain through the eyes.

In contrast, for a bird, light penetrates through the ocular cavities, but also the upper part of their skull.

Field of vision of humans and ducks

Poultry have more receptors, allowing them to see a wider spectrum of light than humans. So it can be said that poultry have a better vision than humans.

The eye perceives the different wavelengths as different colors. This visible spectrum differs considerably between humans and poultry, as illustrated in this diagram. 

The challenge:

The challenge is to try to illuminate the building with a light spectrum matching the needs of the poultry  to allow them to express their behavior correctly and correspond to animal welfare.

Light is the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum,  and the visible part is only a very small part of this spectrum. Poultry have, in this visible part, a vision more extensive than humans.

Birds see more than humans!

Birds see 60% more colours at a lower intensity than humans,  especially in the blue, hence their excellent night vision.  The positioning of their eyes on the side of the head gives them a much wider angle of view.

Birds see ten times more images per second than humans, which makes them very sensitive to the flicker produced by lighting equipment and a frequencies that are too low in hertz; a minimum of 120 hertz.

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