36 36 Intermittent lighting & Early light intensity 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 im- plementing an intermittent lighting program from day one for up to 7 – 10 days and then switch to your reg- ular step-down program. Light intensity is a key player in stimulating birds. High lux levels will stimulate birds causing them to be more active. Lowering intensity can have a calm- ing effect and be a useful tool in re- ducing the risk of feather pecking. In the early development stage of rearing we need the flock to be ac- tive so early stimulation is the key, followed by a gradual step down to a more relaxed level ready for the pro- duction house. Often in production, lux levels are reduced later in lay as it offers a calming effect in the flock and can be used to reduce any potential in- stances of aggressive pecking. Always remember the hen’s percep- tion of light is far greater than ours so any changes should be minimal and gradual. Once the lights have been dimmed you should never increase them dur- ing the laying period. Graphs for Lux Levels Light intensity LOHMANN TIERZUCHT › MANAGEMENT GUIDE › LIGHTING Example of a lighting program 24 18 12 6 0 Hours Age in Weeks Day 1–2* Day 3–6* LSL LB 2 *or an intermittent lighting program **until the end of production 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25** Adjust to a slower step down to allow more time for feed intake if body weights are behind target or aiming for a larger egg size in production.