To maximise the performance of broilers in every production cycle, it is essential to keep the birds in optimal housing. The control of environmental factors, such as ammonia and temperature, needs to be optimised as these influence the performance of broilers. Light is one of the most important external stimuli, however this very important environmental factor is often overlooked.
Light influences the uniformity of birds in the poultry house. The optimal distribution of the birds contributes to a good layer of litter and reduces health and welfare problems. Light stimulates activity as well as stimulating feed intake and conversion, and mortality. The range of vision and the ability to exhibit natural behaviour are, to a certain extent, dependent on light spectrum and intensity.
Each housing system is equipped differently and has specific lighting needs. The most common types of housing systems for broilers are floor housing and the newer alternative housing system.
It is important to create a uniform light distribution for floor housing. A uniform light distribution contributes to the uniformity of the birds and the optimal use of the housing.
The alternative housing system is best described as a floor housing system with multiple levels. Therefore, light distribution is also important here.