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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.


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


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.




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.