Improve poultry performance with HATO lighting
News - placed on 09/04/2018
Located in the Netherlands, HATO Agricultural Lighting is one of the world's major producers of agricultural lighting solutions.
Since 1974, the year of our establishment, we have held a leading position in agricultural lighting. We owe this position to our innovations, our knowledge of the latest technologies and our strong commitment to the agricultural sector. We are also valued for our high quality products and outstanding customer service, which have always been an integral part of our approach.
Nowadays, over 40 years after our establishment, we deliver on a global scale. Our lighting solutions are applied in almost every country in the world. We serve the poultry market with a focus on the broiler, layer and parent stock market.
A correct light climate is an essential aspect of proper housing equipment. Our innovative lighting solutions focus on animal welfare and performance. Some 20% of our staff are active in our Research & Development Department. In cooperation with our team of Agricultural Lighting Advisors, team R&D uses solid scientific research to answer the demands of today’s agricultural market so that our products fulfil the needs of animals and farmers.
The importance of poultry lighting
A poultry house is not fully equipped without high-performance house lighting. Lighting has several characteristics that can significantly influence poultry welfare and performance. The most important ones will be explained below.
Before you continue to read, it’s important to be aware that chickens are more sensitive to light than humans. Light that seems perfectly acceptable for humans, could be perceived very differently by birds.
Light distribution simply means the spread of light. If light is spread evenly, meaning there are no dark or bright spots, we call this good/uniform light distribution.
Correct light distribution enables optimal usage of the available space by the birds. Birds will notice bright spots and shadows in their surroundings. This can lead to piling, the avoidance of particular areas and other undesirable behaviour. Figure 1 shows the difference in behaviour in poultry houses with good and poor light distribution.
Our lighting solutions provide good light distribution. It is also important to create a customised light plan in order to ensure optimal light distribution in the entire house. A light plan describes the correct number of lamps and their optimal position to ensure optimal usage of the house by the birds.
Fig 1. The effect of light distribution on the behaviour of broilers.
Another very important aspect of light is flicker: flicker is the fluctuation in light output of a lighting product.
Chickens originally used to live in the jungle. Since they were prey animals, they had to be on guard 24/7. Flickering lamps (constantly varying in light output) are believed to give chickens the impression that a predator bird is flying above them. This constant – possible – threat causes the birds stress. Stress negatively impacts on animal behaviour, well-being and production.
Many of our lighting solutions are 100% flicker-free (figure 2). Animal welfare and performance are of key importance to us.
Fig 2. HATO lighting is 100% flicker-free.
As you can see in figure 3, chickens observe a very broad light spectrum. An increasing volume of research confirms that they perform best under a broad spectrum of light. Colour is significantly present in a broad light spectrum, which means it approximates daylight closely.
HATO lighting always provides a broad light spectrum to ensure an optimal light climate.
Fig. 3. Poultry versus humans: spectral sensitivity.
A lamp should dim smoothly, deeply and evenly from 100-0% to simulate sunrise and sunset conditions. Sunset/sunrise dimming gives chickens a clear sign to comfortably prepare to rest or wake up. Suddenly turning the lamps on or off will shock them. This shock causes increased mortality.
HATO lighting ensures smooth sunrise and sunset simulation without losing colour accuracy after dimming.
It is essential that lighting equipment is adapted to suit the type of birds in the house, the dimensions of the house and the equipment used. The only way to create an optimal light climate is by taking all these factors into account. For that reason, we provide customised light plans. We factor in all aspects from the exact dimensions of the house to the application type, and more, to create a light climate that enhances animal welfare and production performance.
Do you want to improve animal welfare and performance in your house? Request a free customised light plan here.
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