There is no denying our world population is steadily growing. With low infant mortality rates and longer lifespans, the human population is increasing steadily. Due to this trend, food demand worldwide is expected to double in size by the year 2030, less than 14 years away. This expected increase in food supply has farmers and growers looking for ways to humanely increase production while saving money and reducing stress in the livestock’s environment. LED lighting checks all the boxes. In honor of September being national chicken month, we’re going to take a look at how LED lighting is making strides in the poultry world.
LEDs are unique in comparison to more traditional bulbs, as they can be built and programmed for specific livestock, including poultry, swine and cattle. By utilizing spectral requirements for poultry, farmers are able to increase their production while reducing overall costs.
Many farmers still use general 60W to 100W lightbulbs in their poultry buildings. Yet, light that may work well for humans does not always work well for animals. Animals have grown and evolved under sunlight. With LED lighting, you are able to recreate sunlight in your buildings while saving energy and money.
Some facilities try and use CFLs as well, boasting about their energy savings. However, they are also tuned to human eyes, not poultry, and they do a poor job of mimicking daylight accurately. With new solid-state lighting (SSL) such as LEDs, poultry facilities are able to create a continuous spectrum mimicking daylight. LEDs are by far the best option for poultry farmers today and last up to 10 years when being used 24/7.
Advantages of LED Poultry Lighting
LEDs not only save you time and money, they also can increase your revenue. LEDs’ greatest strength is their customizable nature. Poultry handlers are able to create custom lighting for specific environments, whether it be for newborn chicks or adults. These lighting environments helps increase health and well-being in the animals, creating growth in production while lowering cost in energy and feed.
Lighting is so important in poultry barns because chickens and other poultry sense light differently than humans. Domestic poultry are quad-chromants. They have advanced sensitivity to reds, blues and ultraviolet lights. This is thought to be due to their origins in tropical areas. The way poultry’s eyesight varies so differently from humans is that they can see UV light retinally, whereas humans cannot.
Each different light that chickens are more sensitive to have a unique effect on the animal. Green light, for example, increases growth rate at an earlier rate. Blue light increases growth at a later stage. When you put green and blue light together, you create a faster growth rate due to a more effective stimulation of testosterone secretion. Red light stimulates and promotes sexual activity and increases growth rates for chickens and turkeys at the beginning of the rearing period.
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Posted in LED Agriculture Lighting