24 LOHMANN TIERZUCHT › MANAGEMENT GUIDE 24 General The lighting programme is an important tool to control the onset of lay and affects the performance. Within certain limits, per- formance can be adapted to farm specific requirements by adjusting the lighting pro- gramme. Easiest to follow are the lighting programmes in closed houses without the effect of natural daylight. In these, the hours of light and light intensity can be adjusted to changing needs. Rearing birds in closed houses and produc- ing eggs in light-tight houses enable the producer to maximize performance. Follow the lighting programme which is recom- mended for this type of housing system and commercial variety. For open or brown-out houses (houses with incidence of daylight), a tailor made programme has to be developed which reflects the season and geographical location where the pullets are being reared and stimulated to lay. In general, the lighting programme should follow the basic principles: › Never increase hours of light during the rearing period until planned stimula- tion starts. › Never decrease hours of light during the production period. › Always keep in mind that natural day- light can influence the lighting pro- gramme in open or brown-out houses. Intermittent Lighting Programme for Day Old Chicks When the day old chicks arrive on the farm, they have already been intensively han- dled in the hatchery and often have a long transport to their final destination. Common practice is to give them 24 hours of light to help them recover after arrival and to provide them enough time to eat and drink. In practice, it can be observed that after arrival and housing, some chicks continue to sleep whereas others start to look for feed and water. The activity of the flock will always be irregular. Especially in this phase, poultry men have difficulties interpreting the chicks behaviour and their condition. There is a practically proven principal in split- ting the day into phases of resting and ac- tivity using a special designed intermittent lighting programme. The aim is to synchro- nize the chicks’ activities. The farmer gets a better impression of the flocks condition and the birds are encouraged by the groups be- haviour to search for water and feed. Therefore, LOHMANN TIERZUCHT advises to give chicks a rest after they arrive at the rearing farm and then start with four hours of light followed by two hours of darkness. Adjust the ILP according to the working time in the chicken house. LIGHTING