Reproductive performance of broiler breeders as affected by age at initiation of laying cycle lighting program

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The control of lighting for broiler breeders is an extremely important aspect of controlling their reproductive performance. The length of light available to broiler breeder hens significantly effects the age at which they begin producing eggs and their subsequent peak egg production levels. Although most broiler breeders in the U.S. are grown in light-tight houses, in many areas of the world they are not and these producers must rely on natural daylight supplemented by artificial lighting. Therefore, it is important to understand the effects of delaying the age of initiation of artificial lighting programs when birds are grown under natural lighting conditions. In this experiment, June-hatched broiler breeders were grown under natural day length and artificial photostimulation was begun at either 18, 20 or 22 weeks of age. The results of this experiment showed that early egg production is decreased significantly in birds in which photostimulation has been delayed until 22 weeks of age. However, this significant decrease did not affect the overall egg production. This study indicated that delaying the artificial photostimulation of June-hatched broiler breeders until 22 weeks of age was not detrimental to their overall performance. © Asian Network for Scientific Information, 2007.

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International Journal of Poultry Science

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