The Effects of Light Color on the Performance and Immune Response of Broiler Chickens

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The Ohio State University

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Environmental factors in poultry housing, such as crowding, temperature and lighting, influence health and productivity of chickens. Lighting is an important factor in regulating physiological and behavioral processes in chickens. Different wavelengths of light have shown to affect growth rate and immune response in broiler chickens and egg quality in layer hens. Laying hens exposed to red light have increased egg production and broilers exposed to blue and green lights have increased weight gain. Previous research has studied the effects of different colored lighting on the immune responses in chickens vaccinated for Infectious Bursal Disease and Newcastle Disease; however, no research thus far has studied chickens vaccinated against Marek’s Disease under these conditions. In the present study one hundred and twelve day-of-hatch broilers were reared under white, blue, green and red LED bulbs with an intensity of 15 lux and a 23L:1D photoperiod. Chicks were vaccinated subcutaneously with a commercial Marek’s Vaccine on day of hatch. Birds were weighed and blood samples collected on d 0, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42 and 49. Total serum IgY concentrations were increased in broilers raised under red light treatment on d 35 and 42. Blue light and green light treatment resulted in the highest and lowest body weight of birds, respectively, on d 42 and 49.



light, color, poultry, broiler, Marek's