16 16 LOHMANN TIERZUCHT › MANAGEMENT GUIDE › EARLY MANAGEMENT Humidity levels are also important and work in relation to the temperature to obtain an optimum environment. For efficient coccidial replication a relative humidity of 60% is recom- mended for the first two weeks. For floor systems a litter humidity level of 35% should be maintained where possible. Humidity The relative humidity level inside the house should be at about 60 – 70 % for the first week When the day-old chicks arrive on the farm, some will continue to sleep after the journey from the hatchery, while others will search for food and water. An intermittent lighting program fits well with this irregular behaviour as not only does it help to synchronise the chick’s behaviour and encourage the search for feed and water. It also allows you to obtain a better overall impression of the flock. LOHMANN TIERZUCHT advise imple- menting an intermittent lighting pro- gram from day one for up to 7–10 days and then switch to your regular step-down program. Intermittent lighting program Example for Slow step-down lighting program Graphs for lux intensity Early Lighting program Regardless of which system you are using early management is critical to ensure excellent acclimatization to the surroundings. This will be reflected in the uptake of feed and water and its relation to development. Training for alternative systems should start in rear and continue into lay. There is a direct correlation between the imprinting of behavioral patterns in rear and their relation to the production period. Stud- ies have shown that access to perching by 4 weeks of age can have a positive impact on pecking behaviour later in the production period. Birds destined for alternative production houses should be trained to move, perch and jump from an early age. This preparation period allows for a smooth transition and familiarisa- tion with the set up they will face. Feed Training with phase feeding not only allows better uptake of feed but can prevent unnecessary foraging behav- iour. As we allow movement outside the system, birds will naturally for- age. Movement Allowing the birds to be released from the system at a young age gives them time to find their feet and explore the system thus developing perching and jumping capabilities ready for the production facility. Early Learning Two important rules