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Research Note: Irritating flashing light or poultry-friendly lighting—are flicker frequencies of LED luminaires a potential stress factor in the husbandry of male fattening turkeys?

  • Conventional fluorescent tubes are increasingly being replaced with innovative light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for lighting poultry houses. However, little is known about whether the flicker frequencies of LED luminaires are potential stressors in poultry husbandry. The term “light flicker” describes the fluctuations in the brightness of an electrically operated light source caused by the design and/or control of the light source. In this context, the critical flicker frequency (CFF) characterizes the frequency at which a sequence of light flashes is perceived as continuous light. It is known that CFF in birds is higher than that in humans and that light flicker can affect behavioral patterns and stress levels in several bird species. As there is a lack of knowledge about the impact of flicker frequency on fattening turkeys, this study aimed to investigate the effects of flicker frequency on the behavior, performance, and stress response in male turkeys. In 3 trials, a total of 1,646 male day-old turkey poults of the strain B.U.T. 6 with intact beaks were reared for 20 wk in 12 barn compartments of 18 m² each. Each barn compartment was illuminated using 2 full-spectrum LED lamps. Flicker frequencies of 165 Hz, 500 Hz, and 16 kHz were set in the luminaires to illuminate the compartments. Analyses of feather corticosterone concentration were performed on fully grown third-generation primaries (P 3) of 5 turkeys from each compartment. No significant differences were found in the development of live weight, feed consumption, or prevalence of injured or killed turkeys by conspecifics reared under the above flicker frequencies. The flicker frequencies also did not significantly influence feather corticosterone concentrations in the primaries of the turkeys. In conclusion, the present results indicate that flicker frequencies of 165 Hz or higher have no detrimental effect on growth performance, injurious pecking, or endocrine stress response in male turkeys and, thus, may be suitable for use as animal-friendly lighting.

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Metadaten
Author:Jessica RaabeORCiD, Gurubaran RaveendranORCiD, Winfried OttenORCiD, Kai Homeyer, Thomas BartelsORCiD
URN:urn:nbn:de:bsz:960-opus4-30151
DOI:https://doi.org/10.25968/opus-3015
DOI original:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2023.103214
ISSN:1525-3171
Parent Title (English):Poultry Science
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of Completion:2023
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Hannover
Release Date:2023/11/20
Tag:fattening turkey; feather corticosterone; flicker frequency; light-emitting diode; stress
GND Keyword:Geflügelzucht; Lumineszenzdiode; Flimmerbewegung; Stress; Corticosteron; Truthahn
Volume:103
Issue:1
Article Number:103214
Page Number:6
Link to catalogue:1885954689
Institutes:Fakultät I - Elektro- und Informationstechnik
DDC classes:630 Landwirtschaft, Veterinärmedizin
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International