Journal Article

Effects of lighting pattern and photoperiod on egg production and egg quality of a native chicken under free-range condition

A L Geng, Y Zhang, J Zhang, H H Wang, Q Chu and H G Liu

in Poultry Science

Published on behalf of Poultry Science Association

Volume 97, issue 7, pages 2378-2384
Published in print July 2018 | ISSN: 0032-5791
Published online June 2018 | e-ISSN: 1525-3171 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.3382/ps/pey104
Effects of lighting pattern and photoperiod on egg production and egg quality of a native chicken under free-range condition

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ABSTRACT

The paper aimed to study the effects of lighting pattern and photoperiod alone and in combination on egg production, egg quality in Beijing You Chicken (BYC). A total of 630 19-wk-old BYC laying hens were randomly allocated to 6 groups with 105 birds each, 3 replicates per group, reared in individually lit floor pens with separate outdoor areas. A 2 × 3 factorial experiment (2 lighting patterns: continuous and intermittent lighting; 3 photoperiods: 16, 14, 12 h) was arranged, including 16L:8D (6:00 to 22:00) for group 1; 12L:2D:4L:6D (6:00 to 18:00, 20:00 to 24:00) for group 2; 14L:10D (6:00 to 20:00) for group 3; 10L:2D:4L:8D (6:00 to 16:00, 18:00 to 22:00) for group 4; 12L:12D (6:00 to 18:00) for group 5, and 8L:4D:4L:8D (6:00 to 14:00, 18:00 to 22:00) for group 6, respectively. Egg production parameters were calculated for 22 to 43, 44 to 57, and 22 to 57 wk, and egg quality parameters were measured at the end of 37 and 57 wk. The results showed that the egg production of BYC was not significantly affected by lighting pattern, photoperiod alone, or in combination during 22 to 43 and 22 to 57 wk (P > 0.05), but average feed intake in 12 h groups was significantly higher than those in 14 and 16 h groups during 22 to 43 and 22 to 57 wk (P < 0.05). Egg mass and feed egg ratio were significantly affected by lighting pattern, photoperiod alone, and in combination during 44 to 57 wk (P < 0.05). Egg mass was significantly higher (P = 0.05) and feed egg ratio was significantly lower (P = 0.03) in continuous groups than in intermittent groups. There were significant effects for eggshell thickness, albumen height, haugh unit, and egg grade by lighting pattern alone (P < 0.05) at 37 wk. The study suggested that 1) the egg production was not significantly affected by lighting pattern alone during 22 to 57 wk (P > 0.05), but the photoperiod significantly affected average feed intake (P < 0.05); 2) continuous lighting is better for the egg production during 44 to 57 wk, and intermittent lighting is better for egg quality of the native bird at 37 wk; 3) 12 h lighting is enough for meeting the requirement of the native chicken during the laying period; (4) no change in photoperiod from the rearing to the production phase (12 to 12 L) will have long-lasting effects on egg production or egg quality under the present condition.

Keywords: lighting pattern; photoperiod; egg production; egg quality; native chicken

Journal Article.  4677 words. 

Subjects: Ornithology

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