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Title: Preference testing for UV light spectrum and intensity in laying hens
Contributor(s): Rana, Md Sohel (author); Cohen-Barnhouse, Andrew M  (author); Lee, Caroline  (author); Campbell, Dana L M  (author)
Publication Date: 2021-06
Early Online Version: 2021-02-19
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.psj.2021.101063
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Sunlight intensity and UV radiation may affect free-range hens' use of the outside range, particularly when sunlight is intense with a high UV index. However, it is uncertain what aspect of sunlight (brightness or UV) may be most aversive to hens to discourage them from leaving standard indoor lighting conditions to venture outdoors. A controlled indoor-based choice study was conducted to determine whether hens showed preferences for different light wavelengths and intensities that may affect outdoor range usage. Cage-reared ISA Brown laying hens (n = 84) at 44 wk of age in 3 groups (28 hens/group) were tested for preferences of indoor standard light emitting diode (LED) white light (control) vs. one of three different treatment lights: 1) visible spectrum plus infrared wavelengths (VIS); 2) visible spectrum plus UVA wavelengths (UVA); and (iii) visible spectrum plus UVA and UVB wavelengths (UVA/B) presented successively at low, medium, or high levels of intensity. Hens within each group were individually tested for 2 h in an apparatus with 2 compartments (control vs. treatment) connected by a tunnel on both sides. Videos of hens' time spent in each compartment and behaviors were decoded and analyzed using GLMM. Hens spent more time under the low intensity of the UVA/B light treatment (62%), the low intensity of VIS light (61%), medium intensities of both UVA/B light (60%), and UVA light (59%), and the high intensity of the VIS light (58%) when compared with control light (all P ≤ 0.05). Hens spent less time feeding under all intensities of UVA light (all P ≤ 0.03) and showed more foraging, ground pecking, and preening at lower levels of UVA/B light (P < 0.05). The study suggests that UVA/B light (sunlight) may have positive effects for hen range use, but during peak sun intensities, hens may need additional measures (e.g., shelter) to protect themselves. Confirmation of these findings in a free-range setting is needed.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Poultry Science, 100(6), p. 1-14
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Place of Publication: Netherlands
ISSN: 1525-3171
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300302 Animal management
300306 Animal welfare
310901 Animal behaviour
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 100411 Poultry
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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